Ecolabels role in sustainable textile production – the case of Tirupur
Of interest to textile producers wanting assistance in greening their production facilities and saving money and policymakers wishing to create support frameworks for green production. Piloting of Ecolabels and Environmental Management in the textile production cluster in Tirupur India. Identifying and overcoming obstacles and quantifying gains. Of key relevance in other production centres.
Tirupur is an important production centre for textiles sold in Europe and elsewhere. After years of farmers and citizens suffering from pollution of rivers and lakes, a 2010 regulation was established requiring the local textile industry to adopt Zero Liquid Discharge (ZLD) technology. The objective of this initiative was to assist the industry and policymakers in using the regulation as a catalyst for developing a greener industry - in part through the application of Environmental Management Systems (EMS) and Ecolabels - and saving money and creating more attractive products for Nordic and other European markets in the process. The initiative included the following activities: - Establishment of a Nordic Reference Group of brands selling clothing to Nordic consumers and and a Tirupur Reference Group of producers supplying these brands with clothing - Interviews with members of both reference groups, investigating the demand for ecolabelled products, changes in production needed to live up to ecolabels, how EMS can be used to meet the ZLD regulation and obstacles to the use of EMS and Ecolabels - workshops in Tirupur and Copenhagen to disseminate and discuss the results of the studies - capacity building activities in Tirupur to assist companies in adopting EMS and ecolabels - holding textile seminars in Norway, Finland and Denmark and a Buyer-Seller Meeting in Denmark to establish closer ties between producers and brands in greening the sector The project presents some useful findings: For brands - useful cases on how more active involvement with suppliers can significantly reduce production impacts and deliver a more attractive, greener product For textile producers - cases on how to green production, overcome obstacles in adopting environmental management systems and meeting ecolabel criteria, and saving money a the same time For policymakers - examples of how they can make links between producers and brands and capacity build productin companies in greening their production. Moreover a clear case for local policy makers in production countries on how environmental regulation can strengthen the local textile industry rather than inhibit it. As a result of the project, 30 companies are greening their production, and five are close to or have achieved Ecolabel certification for some products and begun trading with Nordic brands. A EU/Swan certified cluster in Tirupur is close to realisation. If you're a brand or producer read these reports to see how ecolables and greener production can help you. If you're a policymaker wishing to green the industry, think how you can capacity build and create links between partners and contact Henning Høy Nygaard at the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs: firstname.lastname@example.org
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