'International Denim Conference' off to a deafening start
The first ever 'International Denim Conference' opened today to a rousing reception at the hallowed campus of the Indian Institute of Management (IIM) in Ahmedabad, also called as the 'Denim Capital of India, from the more than 350 plus delegates, who include, industry leaders and stakeholders from the textile industry, present on the occasion.
The conference has been organised by Fibre2fashion, the leading global B2B website for the textile, apparel and fashion industry in conjunction with the Ahmedabad chapter of the Textile Association of India (TAI), which is the foremost textile professional body in India & the largest in the world. The morning began with registration of all the delegates, who have come from across the length and breadth of India and abroad.
At the inaugural session of the conference were present, Mr Maheshwar Sahu - IAS and Principal Secretary, Industries & Mines, Govt. of Gujarat and also the Chairperson of the conference, Mr Sanjiv Shah, CEO – fibre2fashion, Mr Naishad Parikh, Advisor - Arvind Ltd, the biggest denim producer in India, Robin Anson - Managing Editor, Textiles Intelligence, UK, Dr PR Roy, convener of the conference, Mr TL Patel and Mr VJ Trivedi, President and Honorary Secretary, respectively of TAI.
Mr TL Patel gave the welcome address by welcoming all those sitting on the dais and all the delegates from across India and abroad.
Dr PR Roy, Director of fibre2fashion and President Emeritus of TAI, began the proceedings by announcing the theme of the conference. He began by saying, denim is a subject that does not need to be introduced, but needs to be experienced, touched and felt to understand the fabric. He said, India used to cultivate cotton and indigo was also used to dye cotton and wool more than five thousand years back, however in the intervening period, it did not witness much commercialization.
He informed that India is still struggling to find a sustainable cotton policy and at the same time, China is reducing its cotton acreage in order to increase food output, which could prove to be an opportunity for Indian denim producers to take the lead. He further informed that globally, denim consumes 14 percent of the cotton produced worldwide and expects Indian denim output to touch one billion meters in a few years.
He spoke about a new strategy called 'Blue Ocean', which emanated from France and implies; “Why compete with everybody. Let everybody swim in the red ocean and you swim in the blue ocean, where there is less competition”. Denim manufacturing in India, he said, was born in the 1980's from the need to compete with the decentralized sector also called denim the 'New face of Indian textile & apparel industry'. He concluded by saying that, new innovations are needed to sustain denim for a longer period of time.
Mr Maheswar Sahu, the Chairperson of the conference began the inaugural address by saying, “Glimpses of ecosystem are necessary for the industry”. He said, Gujarat is in a much better position in terms of electricity, roads, airports, ports, transportation, communication, easy availability of credit and skilled labour and Gujarat even had a high industrial growth even during the economic recession period.