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Pearl students present eco-friendly themed fashion show

Dec '08
Pearl Academy of Fashion, India's leading private fashion institute in association with North India Section of the Textile Institute (Manchester), recently organized an International conference on the theme “Sustainability of Textile Fashion Industry Chain”: Crop to Shop at Apparel House in Gurgaon. The two-day event brought together over 20 eminent national & international industry specialist to discuss and tackle the sustainability challenges of the clothing sector.

Sustainability has emerged as a serious topic in the fashion & textile industry globally. To ensure that the practice of sustainability be internalized, it is important for the industry people to have empathy, awareness and understanding of the issues and knowledge to implement sustainability practices. Sustainability of development is the key factor for the survival of the human race and the creations of nature.

International Conference on Sustainability was an innovative initiative to address such issues & concerns pertaining to the fashion & textile industry. It is for the first time in many years that the eminent national & international textile magnates have shared their views and outlined the forward path for the Sustainability of Textile fashion Industry Chain.

Addressing the ongoing battle of cheaper, faster & more in the textile industry Ms. Lakshmi Menon Bhatia, Director, Global Partnerships, Social Responsibility GAP Inc. suggested that the Apparel Export Promotion Council (AEPC) & PAF should take up joint apparel and garment coordination committee for sustainability.

She also proposed PAF to come out with the best practice manual for sustainability in the fashion value chain and also offered $5000 as the seed fund for the same. She also emphasized on task force for the Government, NGO's and Industry to look at the critical issues in the supply chain & interactive websites and blog spots to address the issues of sustainability. AEPC & PAF will work on this direction in near future.

According to the presentation “Walking the Sustainability Catwalk” by Dr. Dorothy Maxwell, Environment Consultant & SCP Advisor Sustainable Products & Materials Divison, Dept of Environment Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA), UK - The sustainability impact occurs across the lifecycle stages and global supply chain of products which include raw materials, production, distribution, consumer use through to end of life.

For the UK, 60% of the fibres, fabrics and yarns produced, imported and exported are synthetics with 29% non-synthetics and 11% unspecified. Given that, many garments are composites of fibres; this can complicate the impacts further. For the UK, 1.5-2 million tones of unwanted clothing is generated per annum, with only 16% recovered and the remainder destined for landfill. If everyone consumes the way UK does we would need three planets to support us.

In his research report “Sustainable Consumption and Retail” , Prof. Tom Fisher, School of Art & Design, NTU, UK discussed the research conducted in 2008 for Defra that demonstrated a spectrum that exists in the relationship between consumers' understanding of where their clothes come from, and their actions, in terms of what they buy.

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