June 17, 2024
Sustainability

Galaxy Of Speakers Address TAI Sustainability Conference

The Textile Association (India), Mumbai Unit which recently organised International Conference on ‘Sustainability and Circularity – The New Challenges for the Textile Value Chain’ on January 2024 witnessed attendance of 275 delegates.

VC Gupte, Chairman, TAI, Mumbai Unit explained the concept of circularity and circularity model, in which all materials are viewed as a resource and there is no waste and which is a departure from the current model of take-make-consume-throw away pattern.

“The circular economy involves sharing, leasing, reusing, repairing, refurbishing and recycling existing materials and products as long as possible. These can be productively used again and again, thereby creating further value,” he said.

Rajiv Ranjan, President, TAI, Mumbai Unit began with explaining the UN definition that sustainable development meets the needs of the present generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs.

He added that since the textile industry was very polluting in nature and as per estimate more than five per cent of total Green House Gas (GHG) emission was due to the industry and that the 3R principle of Reduce, Recycle and Reuse was never more valid.

GV Aras, Conference Chairman said every attempt has been made to address the theme from the perspectives of the organised industry and MSMEs and the emphasis by the speakers from different angles so that a holographic picture can be conceived at the end of the conference.

He reiterated that sustainability and circularity are the most important aspects of manufacturing for reducing environmental impact. While sustainability is the goal, circularity is a milestone that results to achieve sustainable objectives.

Dr. Naresh Tyagi, Chief Sustainability Officer, Aditya Birla Fashion and Retail Limited in his keynote address described the sustainability and various steps involved in establishing the goals set towards circularity.

He emphasised that the holistic approach to develop strategies to achieve the goals set and collate with national and global perspectives. He described the various facets of sustainability and in turn strategies developed through circularity in line with sustainable development goals set by UN.

He spoke about the importance of the subject and relevance to textile and clothing industry. His keynote address set the pace of the theme of the conference rolling to extend the deliberations on various other aspects of sustainability and circularity.

At the conference, Dr Sharad Kumar Saraf, CMD, Technocraft Group with felicitated with ‘The Lifetime Achievement Award’ for his contributions to the industry. Dr. Saraf also highlighted the key features of sustainability based on his rich experience in the industry and trade.

Rajkumar Agarwal, MD at SVG Fashions was awarded the ‘The Industrial Excellence Award’ for his contribution in the field of textile and clothing industry. He spoke the role of the textile and clothing sector in the light of international scenario.

Seema Srivastava, ED, India ITME Society, the Guest of Honour described the importance of the theme of the conference regarding holistic approach for the development of the textile and clothing sector and spoke about synergy of machinery development in achieving the sustainability and circularity.

Ullhas Nimkar, Chairman, NimkarTek Technical Services presented a paper on ‘Understanding Sustainability and Circularity in the Textile Value Chain’. He explained through various cases studies that recycling of waste is beneficial to the ecology and environment management.

Mayank Mody, Director, Mody Linen Fibre and Dr GS Nadiger, General Secretary, Non-Conventional Fibres Association (NCFA) made a presentation on ‘Sustainability in Textile Fibres’. They highlighted role of non-conventional fibres which can be harnessed to address key aspects of circularity and sustainability.

They shared details of activities taken up jointly by NCFA and Mody Linen and explained advantages of fibres such as banana, sisal, flax, bamboo, hemp, and screw pine fibres. Among animal fibres, wild silks such as Eri, Muga and Taser along with pashmina were listed as important from Indian context.

Shiladitya Joshi, Dy GM, Product & Marketing, Truetzschler India gave a presentation on ‘Truetzschler’s Approach towards Sustainability’. The presentation focused on machineries required for recycling of the textiles or fibres to address circularity. He informed about technology available for recycling of reclaimed textiles.

Prashant Pote, Customer Relations Management Manager, Bluesign Technologies gave a presentation on ‘Bluesign Solutions for Sustainability & Circularity’ and discussed the scope of the ecolabel ‘Bluesign’ which has four tiers for achieving sustainability.

The tiers include People (Consumer Safety and Occupational Safety); Environment (Water Emission, Air Emission, Waste & Soil); Resources (Energy, Water, Chemicals and Raw Materials) and Blue Sign System (Risk minimisation, Reduction of impacts, Protection of people and environment and Resource productivity).

Umasankar Sinha Mahapatra, MD, Pulcra Chemicals India gave a presentation on ‘Sustainable Wet Processing of Textiles” and highlighted the scope and goal of establishing circularity and sustainability in the textile value chain while illustrating the developmental work done by Pulcra Chemicals.

He stressed on the immediate need to adopt more sustainable practices to make the industry safer for consumers and environment. According to him, various material innovations are happening in sustainable fibres, but unless those are processed using sustainable processing chemicals, it’s not complete.

Ratnakar Mahajan, Regional Technical Manager, Maccaferri Environmental Solutions presented on geosynthetics in various infrastructure projects and its impact on environmental aspects.

Ranga Nathan NS, Vice President, Head of Customer Engagement, TextileGenesis gave a presentation on ‘Why traceability has become top-priority for fashion brands’ and highlighted the importance of traceability in the context of sustainability and circularity.

He informed about the role and contribution of TextileGenesis in the context of life cycle assessment/impact in the value chain right from raw material to finished goods.

Dr. Ajay Ranka, CMD, Zydex Group presented on ‘Farm & Forest Sustainability for Organic Fibre Production – Profitable one crop transition’. He informed that India is the largest organic cotton grower in the world, accounting for 50 percent of global share.

According to Dr Ranka, the process of conversion of conventional farms to organic remains financially unfeasible for most farmers, despite various benefits. During transition, yields drop significantly leading to losses to farmers, thereby conversions become a challenge.

He informed that Zydex has developed Zytonic Soil amendment technology platform, inoculated with mycorrhiza and different microbial like NPK consortia, which help for faster conversion of soil to organic farms and addresses all the aspects of physical, biological, and chemical properties of farm soils.

There was a panel discussion on ‘Achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals (UN-SDGs)’ which was moderated by Chandrima Chatterjee, Secretary General, CITI and panel was made up of Rahul Bhajekar, MD, GOTS and Shyamlal Patnaik, Joint President – Head Specialty Products, Grasim Industries.

Others included Kapil Pathare, Director, VIP Clothing, M Gunasekaran, Technical Marketing & Development Manager (South Asia), Lenzing Fibers, Avik Banerjee, Material and Components, H&M and Srinivasan Krishnamurthy, Raw Material Specialist, IKEA Services (India).

Chandrima Chatterjee began with her initial remarks on the relevance of the theme and addressed each panelist with queries related to sustainable development goals. While responding, each panel member spoke about relevant goals of the SDG interfacing sustainability and circularity.

Haresh B. Parekh, Hon. Secretary, TAI, Mumbai Unit proposed a vote of the thanks to everyone who had contributed for the success of the international conference which was attended by around 275 participants.

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