– Brands, associations, industry and thought leaders deliberate upon the way forward during the Sustainability Marathon in five garment clusters
15th May 2023, Gurugram: AEPC takes its AISA (Apparel Industry Sustainability Action) initiative to the next step by conducting the Sustainability Marathon in collaboration with Brands and Sourcing Leaders Association (BSL) under the umbrella initiative called ‘Good Earth Commune’. As part of the marathon AEPC hosted road shows in the five prominent garment clusters in the country within a span of a week from 5th -12th May 2023 at Tirupur, Mumbai, Bangalore, Jaipur and Delhi-NCR (Gurugram).
Highlighting the objective Chairman AEPC Shri Naren Goenka said, “The objective of these road shows was to map the existing sustainability status across clusters and to give an opportunity to showcase their sustainability measures to iconic reputed brands, document best stories pan India to showcase them to the global buyers and brands.” The takeaways of road shows will help us to have a policy dialogue with the Government for suitable policy interventions for supporting MSMEs for better preparedness in the changing scenario, he added.
The Sustainability Marathon road show culminated at Apparel House Gurugram on 12th May 2023. Delivering the opening remark Shri Sudhir Sekhri, Vice Chairman AEPC said, “The global garment production is expected to increase by 63% by 2030, with a huge contribution by the Indian garment industry. This spectacular growth brings with it an ever-growing global concern on the detrimental impact that this fashion industry brings on the environment.”
Transition to a green environment has become the top priority for the EU. The European Commission’s climate change strategy is focused on making Europe a net zero emitter of greenhouse gases and becoming climate neutral by 2050. We are trying to brace the industry and sensitize them through these road shows to be sustainable, which is no more a choice left for us, Shri Sekhri noted.
As part of the roadshow enlightening sessions on adopting sustainability practices were conducted by experts on handholding the industry in terms of water Conservation, energy conservation, waste water management and chemical management from. The esteemed panel also discussed the changing regulatory scenario around sustainability and circularity, understanding from the brand’s perspective; LEED certification for green building, carbon monitoring for apparel industry by Only Good and the government support to this cause of sustainability.
Mr. Gautam Nair, Chairman-Export Promotion, AEPC in the discussion remarked, “The AEPC and BSL collaboration is terrific and we have made a good start. BSL has turbocharged this initiative, we made a good start but a long road lies ahead of us.
Delivering the welcome address Shri Mithileshwar Thakur, Secretary General, AEPC said, “Some naysayers want to dub sustainability campaign as a fad but believe me, it’s a serious issue which industry can ignore only at its own peril. Sustainability is the cornerstone of future business growth.” Carbon Border Tax by EU from January 2026, hitherto restricted to a few select products, will apply to all the goods by 2034 and countries like UK, Canada, USA, Japan are also exploring introduction of similar mechanism. The challenge before us is to convert this threat into opportunity by embracing sustainability, Shri Thakur added.
Dr. Tamanna Chatuurvedi, DSG, AEPC who spearheads this initiative informed, “The marathon which ended in Gurugram witnessed widespread participation across the country, to further take these measures among MSMEs of the garment trade. AEPC intends to identify, educate and reward such enterprises who have made positive change in the area of sustainability. Member exporters were requested to file their nominations till 30th May 2023. As part of the hand holding, the journey will continue with empanelling various agencies and hosting a series of webinars engaging the domain experts.”
The domain experts who were the esteemed speakers at Apparel House, Gurugram included, EuroFins Assurance, Reverse Resources, Only Good, USGBC and ASPIRE (Association of Small Progressive Innovative and Rising Enterprises). “These empanelled consultants would be available to handhold and extend their support to our members in their journey of sustainability” added Dr. Tamanna.
The event included presentation from front runners comprising of Shahi Exports, Trend Setters International, Matrix Clothing Pvt Ltd, S.A.N. INTL and Cocoon Kapas to name a few. Presentations were evaluated and companies were handholded by representatives from iconic brands from amongst BSL members including Mr. Swaminathan Ramachandra, CSCO, ABRFL & Chairman, BSL, Mr. Sanjay Shukla, Team Leader, Triburg; Ms Lilly Dutta, Country Manager Group cortefil, Ms. Annika Passii, Senior Director, PDS Group, Mr. Tapan Bansal, Mother Care, Mr. Jatin Kashyap, CEO, Sourcenet Global, Mr. Amit Hemrajani, Global Merchandising Senior Manager, H&M Group, Ms. Kiruba Devi, Head, Category & Sourcing Head, Zivame, Mr. Pankaj Batra, General Manager Business Development, Vertical BU Head Norlanka, Ms Sonali Pal, Business head Reshamandi, Himanshu Pal, CEO 2323 and Mr. Raman Dutta, Gen Secretary, BSL.