Asia, the world’s textile and clothing workshop is at the heart of many sustainability initiatives. The reason is that brands simply cannot afford not to care: their reputation can be seriously damaged if a supplier is responsible for a pollution spill or an industrial accident.
Multiple initiatives are underway in Bangladesh’s garment and textile sector, which has long had a poor environment reputation. One is a German development program, GIZ-PSES. It’s preparing an agreement with a global manufacturer of industrial chemicals and dyes to improve chemical management in 10 Bangladesh textile mills. Bangladesh will benefit from GIZ’s chemical management tools, which includes practical measures for proper handling and storage of chemicals, improving workplace safety, saving water, energy and dyes and complying with environmental laws.
In India, increased global demand for eco-friendly and ethical textiles is encouraging Indian manufacturers to seek global certifications. Alok Industries, India's largest fully integrated textile company for cotton and polyester, has partnered with Zameen Organic to form a farmer-centered fair trade business. This initiative supports the conversion of farmers to organic farming and helps them establish independent co-operatives, as well as arranging organic and fair trade certification for growers.
Home-grown green production initiatives are also emerging in China. Huafang Textile, one of China’s leading printing and dyeing companies, is using bio-enzyme-based products. This helps the company to efficiently reduce chemical oxygen demand while reducing water and energy use.