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Delaware univ helps revive South African cotton industry
Mar '15
courtesy: University of Delaware
courtesy: University of Delaware
Faculty and graduate students from the University of Delaware’s Department of Fashion and Apparel Studies have come forward to help establish a Southern African Sustainable Textile and Apparel Cluster to boost South Africa’s declining cotton textile and apparel industries.

With a five-year grant, approximately of $20 million, from South Africa’s Department of Trade and Industry, the socially responsible apparel promotion-focused department is assisting in creating a sustainable supply chain, right from the cotton field to retail, which will aim to reduce the harmful side-effects on environment and people involved in production.

In its first year of the project, the department has researched and collected data from large and small farmers on the current environmental and labour laws and practices followed in the country. It has also conducted a workshop seeking inputs from collaborators and sharing valuable information on sustainability. Additionally, a programme to analyse the supply chain’s production capabilities has also been initiated.

During the second year of the ongoing project, the American university department plans to assist South African educational institutions, specialising in apparel-related courses, in introducing sustainability into their syllabus.

The framework of the initiative has been developed using the department’s exceptional expertise in areas like sustainability and social responsibility, consumer behaviour and apparel design, research, practices, programmes and solutions towards making a sustainable industry.

After the end of apartheid-era trade approvals, many of the cotton farmers, textile mills and apparel makers in the African nation have become dysfunctional due to increased global competition, easy availability of cheap imported clothing, an uncertain market and insufficient funding issues. (PB)

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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