Collaboration among the value chain can bring huge benefits to the table and will be a sustainable solution for the industry, writes Ajay Sardana.

The United Nation's 1987 Report of the World Commission on Environment and Development: Our Common Future noted that sustainable development would have to meet the needs of the present without compromising the well-being of future generations. Scientists have discovered that mankind's actions are now pushing the planet's systems into unsafe territory. It will be difficult to continue to grow our economies without limit because at some point the planet will not be able to continue to support our activities.

Many people say that time has already passed and we are using resources and degrading the nature to a point that the planet's natural systems may not be able to recover. Therefore, for us contributing to a sustainable future becomes the goal for business because business cannot thrive on a planet that fails.

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Sustainability in textiles industry

The textiles industry has a clear opportunity to manage growth and increase profits, and also be a contributor in creating value for society. However, to continue on this path they need to address their environmental and social footprints.

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Sustainability in textile industry consists of four main factors: raw material procurement/sourcing, production of textiles (fibre, yarn, fabric, garment), added chemistry (especially textile dyeing and finishing) and end-of-life or disposal of textile articles along with community development and health & safety for all working in this domain.

    Raw material sourcing: It addresses the land and water used to grow natural fibres like cotton and wool, regenerated cellulosic fibres or the impacts of  extracting fossil fuels for synthetic fibres such as polyester or nylon. Sustainable sourcing is already a major issue in the textiles value chain. With rising   awareness, many raw materials are now available which are sustainable e.g. cotton produced by BCI (Better Cotton Initiative) way, organic cotton, cellulosic fibres such as viscose, modal, etc.