THE STATE OF CIRCULAR INNOVATIONS IN THE INDIAN FASHION AND TEXTILE INDUSTRIES
We believe that accelerated dynamism in the circular innovation landscape will drive efficiencies across the Indian fashion and textile supply chain, enabling the industry to leap-frog to sustainability. Innovators developing products, processes and service offerings or combinations thereof at critical points in the supply chain as well as systems level solutions, can usher in necessary disruptions through accelerated adoption and scale.
The Indian fashion and textile industry contends with challenges that mirror those in the global landscape. The importance of the industry to India’s socioeconomic advancement cannot be overemphasised. It currently employs over 45 million people, contributes 15% of the country’s export earnings and 7% of the country’s industry output.
Unlike other countries where the predominant focus is on consumption, India is taking on dual roles as both a producer and consumer. As India further adapts from being solely a hub of manufacturing to also becoming a key consumption region, there is clear recognition of the opportunity to side-step the challenges faced by consumer-driven economies and propel the industry towards sustainability.Innovators play a key role in this process as they provide the services, products and system-level solutions that corporate players can invest in and scale. This is most critical as, on the consumer side, there is a comparatively slower but rising consciousness of sustainability in the fashion space. And, of course, as many of the innovators in this report show, sustainability often also makes plain business sense.While the search for circular innovations to address the critical industry challenges is ongoing in India in tandem with similar efforts in the global landscape, contextualisation factoring in the uniqueness of the local landscape will be crucial. This means exploring opportunities in both directions: top-down in a conventional sense via brands, but also bottom-up via manufacturers.Our research finds that while circular innovations have the potential to drive efficiencies and enable the industry to transition to sustainability, there exists significant variance in the degree of momentum and level of technical maturity among different supply chain steps. Key takeaways for each of the supply chain steps detailed in this report are provided below: