Press Releases

Press Release 18 May 2022

Demand for sustainability is real and increasing!

Sustainability is no longer a marketing tool but a reality which cannot be ignored. Today it is counted as one of the major pillars of apparel manufacturing and export business and a growth tool.

The issue of sustainability is now a key criterion for the entire fashion fraternity - right from apparels to fabrics to accessories, the entire value chain.

Asia’s premier sourcing event Apparel Sourcing Week 2022 includes 100-plus garment manufacturers and 50-plus accessories and fabric suppliers which are focusing on sustainability engrained in their DNA and are already on their path to become carbonnegative from carbon-neutral through latest sustainable endeavours. Come and meet them for all your sourcing needs at ASW 2022 in Bengaluru this July!

But before that, let’s delve into the multiple attributes that make sustainability one of the most sought-after concepts of today and the coming future.

The key areas of sustainability involve saving energy, water, maximum use of natural resources, green factories. Alongside, there are many other initiatives which are being taken by various companies as per their needs, priorities, and with the changing sustainability landscape, benchmarks and issues are also evolving.

All these efforts are generating great results, bringing buyers closer to garment makers and creating a sense of profitability and responsibility amongst the companies towards the people and the planet.

Why the need for sustainability?

According to findings, 78 percent of people are more likely to purchase a product that is clearly labelled as ‘environmental-friendly’ while as per the first-ever edition of the Business of Sustainability Index, nearly two-third (64 percent) of Americans are willing to pay more for sustainable products. What’s more, this welcome news isn’t limited to developed nations and advanced economies only. Reports found a similar trend in many developing nations and emerging markets as well, including India.

Benefits of Green Factories

LEED-certified buildings use 25 percent less energy. They also reduce operational costs by 19 percent. Further, as per a study, for an initial construction cost of US $ 3 to US $ 5 per square foot, savings could be as much as US $ 6 on resource savings and almost US $ 8.50 on maintenance and repairs. In total, after 20 years, the savings will probably have amortised 2 to 3 times the initial investment, underlined the study.

Safe work environment

1.4 million injuries take place in the garment industry workplace every year (equivalent to an injury rate of about 5.6 per 100 workers) on account of lack of occupational safety, not to mention host of other health issues due to the same. With the implementation of Occupational Safety & Health programmes, which takes care of even minute details like correct workstation designing, ergonomically-designed sitting arrangements, etc., there has been improvement not only in worker’s overall health and safety but also their productivity.

Similarly infrastructural safety that are of global standards as seen in green units (from water hydrants to analogue addressed fire detection system to automatic fire alarm systems, fire exits, etc.,) has added a new dimension to the sustainability endeavours.

Saving water to save the planet

Water is the foundation of all life, and yet global supplies of fresh water are being used up at an alarming rate.

As per studies, dyeing is the second-largest polluter of water while according to the World Bank, textile dyeing and treatment are the source of 17-20 per cent of industrial water pollution. Until a few years back, there was no substitute for dyeing fabrics but by using water. Thanks to dry dyeing, a waterless dyeing technique, this is possible now. This process makes use of carbon dioxide to dye textile materials. The use of CO2 eliminates the use of water as well as processing chemicals leading to reduction in energy consumption. By using this technology, 15 million of water and 6500 kg of processing chemicals can be saved per machine annually, as per reports while providing same results as the conventional water based methods.

Manufacturing units today are working with industry partners to reduce water use from dyeing, stone-washing and finishing processes while also using ETP plants to effectively deal with and solve wastewater related issues.

Saving valuable energy

As per a study, for a typical 100-machine factory, energy consumption for cutting room is 15 per cent, for sewing activities 33 per cent, for washing 34 per cent, for finishing 38 per cent and 14 per cent lighting load. The ever-increasing demand for power by the industry has led experts to call for reducing dependency on conventional energy and look for sustainable alternates like solar power. Solar energy just not helps manufacturers towards attaining sustainability, it also gives control on one of the critical cost variables and provides them a long-term differentiation.

Choosing the right sustainable materials from sustainable resources

There is an array of eco-friendly materials at the disposal of clothing manufacturers today. One can go for bamboo as a replacement for cotton garments as it grows faster, doesn’t require pesticides, absorbs 5 times more CO2 than equivalent hardwood trees, and requires less laundry care. Then there are also the options of using other sustainable alternatives like hemp, jute, linen, etc.

Use of certified products from fabric to accessories to trims is very important in ensuring sustainability like using GOTS or Fairtrade-certified cotton or for that matter bluesign® certified products. Bluesign is the pioneer of sustainable textile production, tracing each textile's path along the manufacturing process, making improvements at every stage from factory floor to finished product. A sustainable product of this type consists of at least 90 per cent bluesign-approved textiles and 30 per cent bluesign-approved accessories to ensure 100 per cent bluesign confirmed components for the highest degree of sustainability.

About Apparel Sourcing Week 2023

Apparel Sourcing Week 2023, a two-days Sourcing Show not only provides the Asian manufacturers a platform to showcase their products & manufacturing capabilities to the Brands & Retailers from all over the world including India, but also extends them a chance to attend the multiple seminars (headed by industry experts), workshops, open-house discussions and networking opportunities organised during these three days, which would help the manufacturers get a better understanding of Indian and International Retail and evolving dynamics of sourcing in various markets and retail formats.

About the Organiser

Apparel Resources is well known for its benchmark publications – Apparel Online, StitchWorld and Resource Guide published from India, Bangladesh & Vietnam. These publications have been around in the industry for over 35 years, supporting, guiding and standing by garment exporters and the retail industry globally, providing them a platform to source better.