Home / Knowledge / News / Textiles / ZDHC announces textile sustainability project in Africa

ZDHC announces textile sustainability project in Africa

Jun '20
ZDHC Foundation is starting its first, two-and-half year project in Ethiopia, Africa, in collaboration with Bahir Dar University, as a direct result of a private-public-partnership between the German government and Dow Europe. ZDHC would aim to enhance local expertise for a more sustainable chemical management in the textile and apparel industry.

ZDHC’s role comes in twofold, namely; incorporating chemical management in the university’s undergraduate curriculum and establishing trainings and consultant infrastructure. Once realised, Ethiopia’s textile and apparel industry will become more sustainable and ultimately protect workers, the environment, and local communities.

Ethiopia’s textile and apparel industry has experienced a rapid development; in the last five to six years the industry has grown with an average of over 50 per cent. This advancement derives from several comparative advantages in the sector, ambitious governmental plans, and several bilateral trade agreements which have put Ethiopia in a favourable position to become a hotspot for textile and apparel in Africa. But with this acceleration in development, there are sustainability challenges that need to be addressed. Two main challenges have been identified: education skill gaps in the textile industry and lack of awareness of chemical management. This project aims to bridge these gaps and in a joint effort build expertise for better chemical management in Ethiopia’s textile and apparel industry, according to a media statement by ZDHC.

The project is a milestone for ZDHC as it is the first project in Sub Saharan Africa and the project goes hand-in-hand with ZDHC’s vision of widespread implementation of sustainable chemistry, driving innovations and environmental best practices in the textile, apparel, leather, and footwear value chains.

The project is divided into two work packages which will be rolled out consecutively. Given that it is one of the largest institutions in Ethiopia and its track record for excelling in subjects relating to the textile industry, the first package is ultimately focused on Bahir Dar University students and will adopt training of trainers’ approach. Lecturers will initially receive a training on the tailored chemical management curriculum. They will, thereafter, proceed to teach what they have learned to the textile faculty bachelor students. The second work package aims to enhance the capacity of consultants and experts, with the goal of accrediting at least four experts that can train and advise factory operators and managers in the implementation of better chemical management in the day-to-day practices.

In the first work package, ZDHC’s role in the project will be to implement training and provide training materials for the lectures and students at the Bahir Dar University. In the second work package, ZDHC Accredited Training Providers (ATP) will help build knowledge and support the suppliers. GIZ will support in identifying interested local providers and the project partner’s invite international providers to reach out to ZDHC in case they would like build or employ local experts.

Dow’s expertise lies in producing and selling high-quality chemicals, and while this project goes beyond the scope of Dow’s core businesses it increases the company’s commitment to take more responsibility for their business impact along the whole value chain. Dow will contribute to the project management, give input to training curricula and schedules, and conduct parts of the training from the company perspective. They are also offering support to ZDHC and the education sector.

The project will be implemented by the GIZ, on behalf of the Federal Ministry of Economic Corporation and Development (BMZ) through its develoPPP project. GIZ is a service provider in the field of sustainable development with proven expertise in the textile sector in general and chemical management. Additionally, GIZ holds a unique position to support the implementation of this project as their Sustainable Textile Project (eTex) is already well-established in the Ethiopian textile sector and chemical management assessments of several companies have already been conducted. GIZ’s role in this project will be to coordinate stakeholder engagement and contribute with best-practices from other countries.

The ZDHC Foundation oversees implementation of the Roadmap to Zero programme and is a global multi-stakeholder initiative of more than 160 contributors within the fashion and footwear industry.

Fibre2Fashion News Desk (GK)

Must ReadView All

Pic: UNFCCC / Alyssa Strohmann / Unsplash

Fashion | On 17th Jun 2021

Over 70% UN Fashion Charter signatories submit disclosures in 2020

For the 2020 reporting cycle, over 70 per cent of signatories to the...

Pic: Shutterstock

Apparel/Garments | On 17th Jun 2021

Prime Content| Bangladesh apparel exports jump 11.1% in July-May FY21

Readymade garment (RMG) exports from Bangladesh increased by 11.1 per ...

Pic: Bierrebi

Textiles | On 17th Jun 2021

India emerging as main hub for manufacturing in Asia: Bierrebi

The size of the machinery market in India is vast and it enjoys...

Interviews View All

Florian Heubrandner, Lenzing AG

Florian Heubrandner
Lenzing AG

Sustainable and eco-friendly fibres remain in the minority

Footwear Industry, Footwear Retailers

Footwear Industry
Footwear Retailers

Still struggling to mop up higher sales

Textile Industry, Head honchos

Textile Industry
Head honchos

Main challenges are breakdown of supply chain and shrinkage of manpower

Simone Morgante,

Simone Morgante

Based out of Como, Italy, and with technological expertise of nearly 70...

Ujjval Saraf,

Ujjval Saraf

Founded by Jimmy Lai, Giordano International Ltd, a Hong Kong based...

Rajesh Vohra,

Rajesh Vohra

A part of the Italy based multinational company Artsana Group, Chicco is...

Hemant Bheda, Arevo

Hemant Bheda

Arevo, based in Silicon Valley in California, develops technology to...

Pranesh Sridharan & Berndt Koll, Lenzing

Pranesh Sridharan & Berndt Koll

The Lenzing Group produces Lenzing Lyocell and Modal cellulosic fibres of...

Brad Holschuh, Wearable Technology Lab, University of Minnesota

Brad Holschuh
Wearable Technology Lab, University of Minnesota

A new study led by researchers at the University of Minnesota's Design of...

Seema Gujral, Label Seema Gujral

Seema Gujral
Label Seema Gujral

<b>Seema Gujral</b>'s designs for her eponymous label revolve around...

Sailesh Singhania, Sailesh Singhania Label

Sailesh Singhania
Sailesh Singhania Label

The Sailesh Singhania label was created to promote handwoven sarees and...

Sweta Agarwal, A Humming Way

Sweta Agarwal
A Humming Way

A Humming Way (AHW) is inspired by the old-world regalia of Rajasthan...

Press Release

Press Release

Letter to Editor

Letter to Editor

RSS Feed

RSS Feed

Submit your press release on


Letter To Editor

(Max. 8000 char.)

Search Companies


Leave your Comments

June 2021

Subscribe today and get the latest update on Textiles, Fashion, Apparel and so on.

Advanced Search