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Solidaridad works on creating sustainable supply chains from the producer to the consumer. This enables producers in developing countries to get a better price for better products and it helps to preserve people's environment. It helps companies in the marketplace to implement Corporate Social Responsibility and find sustainable suppliers.
When asked as to how he views the development of ethical apparel products trade in India in the last few years, he said, “There are 2 major players in Indian apparel market, Fabindia and Mother Earth who are positioning them around the concept of sustainability. Fabindia is one of the most profitable retailers in the country with net margins of 8-10 percent on revenues of more than Rs 5 billion.
“Similarly, as per reports, Mother Earth with majority equity stake from Future Group, the country's largest retailer, has plans to open more than 100 outlets and focus on apparel, linens and accessories. These will be also sold in multi-branded department stores such as Shoppers Stop and Lifestyle, with an aim to increase its annual sales more than five-fold.
“Both the companies currently are working closely with the craft persons and artisans across India to ensure the products sold through their stores are manufactured in a sustainable manner. Both the companies promote this as their USP and use the concept as a differentiator for them. The products at the stores are produced following various social & environmental standards.
“Following these two brands, are others like M&S, Duke, Nike & Van Heusen with their organic range of products but none of these companies have used this as a differentiator and the products are not highlighted till now.
“I do see in the last few years, the concept of sustainable labelling has gained some ground in India as well. We see “Shops for Change” labels being used by brands like AND which is available in more than 40 outlets across major cities in India. There will many more that will come up as Indian brands realise the business case and catch up with their western counterparts in communicating their sustainability strategy to their consumers”, he winded up by saying.
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