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Birla Cellulose has unveiled the much awaited New Age fabric brand 'LIVA', with brand ambassador and national award winning actress Kangana Ranaut. The launch of LIVA Accredited Partner LAPF was also announced at the event. A gala fashion show marked LIVA’s launch. LIVA is a natural, fluid, and fashionable fabric which infuses fluidity into the garment.

LIVA, the New Age fabric ready for fashion world

“I did not know fibre can be extracted from wood pulp,” said Ranaut at the launch. “Moreover, what attracted me towards LIVA was the fabric from the fibre which is so fluid, comfortable and fashionable and I simply loved it,” she added. She pointed out that the fabric drapes the body just the right way and wasn’t too boxy or tight. “The fabric moved as I moved. I think it’s the kind of fabric that can go well with any clothing and occasion. Personally, I feel LIVA is going to play a very important role in the world of fashion,” she opined.


Hosted by K K Maheshwari, Managing Director, Grasim Industries and Group Director-Textiles, a Aditya Birla group company, the gala event was attended by top fashion designers and stalwarts from the textile and retail industry. They came together to experience the world of natural, fluid fashion. Among the attendees were: designer Wendell Rodricks, Puja Nayyar, James Ferriera, Jatin Kochhar and Anita Dongre.

Speaking at the launch Maheshwari said, “We needed to create a distinctive and relevant end-consumer promise. With years of experience and several intense rounds of understanding, we found one that resonates strongly with the desires and beliefs of customers. Not only does it fully satisfy them on the aspect of being a natural product, it also delights them with its distinctive aspect, which is its soft drape, or ‘fluidity’. I am delighted to announce that we are launching this product under the brand name ‘LIVA’ with the very simple but meaningful and attractive proposition of ‘Natural Fluid Fashion’.”

Maheshwari informed LIVA will be available with leading brands like Van Heusen Women, Global Desi, Chemistry, Pantaloons, Lifestyle, Allen Solly Women. “In the first season, we will reach 50 cities and 1,000 outlets. We expect sales of garments tagged with LIVA will cross two million for our brands and retail partners. This will be supported by a strong media campaign. Captivating visuals will appear in leading dailies, magazines, outdoor and digital,” he explained. And within two years the product is expected to be in 2,500 stores.

Launch of LIVA Accreditation Partner Forum

The event also saw the launch of LIVA Accreditation Partner Forum (LAPF). This is a group of spinners, fabricators and processors who have developed the capability to offer good quality and innovative products (yarns, grey and finished fabrics) made up of Birla Cellulose fibre/fibre blends. The fabrics made by such partners/value chain would be termed promoted and marketed to garment manufacturers, retailers and brands and consumers as ‘LIVA’. It is an ecosystem which has its genesis on consumer need for ensuring quality fabrics to fulfill the LIVA promise, linking different parts of the fragmented garment supply chain. “This is an integral part of the brand LIVA. When these partners work continuously on improving their service to brand and retail, we are working with them for technical support, supply chain, market development, and design development. We have 250 partners in the forum. This is making a difference to the quality, variety and service that brands and retailers in the country are getting. The LIVA tag is attached to the garments. Many of the stores will have eye catching LIVA visual merchandising. We are co-advertising some of these brands to create awareness among consumers,” said Maheswari.

Birla Cellulose is the pulp and fibre division of Aditya Birla Group. The pulp and fibre business is an integral part of the Group and over the years, it has contributed significantly to its growth. It also has a remarkable global position. Birla Cellulose enjoys a leadership position with over 20 percent of global market share. Over the last three years the Group’s investments have been in excess of Rs 4,300 crores and capacities have scaled close to one million tons per annum.


The official target of textile export worth $45 billion seems difficult to achieve as China which usually accounts for over 70 per cent of India’s cotton and 40 per cent of yarn supplies, has cut down purchase. This despite the fact that the country’s overall textile and garment exports including those of jute, coir and handicrafts likely to increase by 4-5 per cent reaching $41 billion this fiscal compared with $39.3 billion a year ago mainly on higher shipments of garments.



As per sources, exports of raw cotton, including waste, and cotton yarn in the April- December period 2014 plunged by 36 per cent and 12 per cent, respectively, from a year before. Exports of textile products increased only 2.2 per cent between April and December from a year earlier. Lack of adequate focus and proper planning on boosting exports have also taken a toll despite the recognition of the textile sector’s role in the ‘Make in India’ concept and jobs creation. The government is yet to come up with the textile vision document even eight months after the report was first submitted to the textile ministry.

Textile and garment exports excluding jute, coir and handicrafts touched $25.72 billion during the April-December period, up 4.7 per cent from a year ago. Handicraft exports hit $3.9 billion in the last fiscal, recording growth of 18 per cent year-on-year. Experts expect the growth to be as much as 5-7 per cent in the outward supplies of these items in the current fiscal. Jute and coir exports, although not so significant in the overall basket, are expected to grow 10-15 per cent.

As per DK Nair, Secretary General of the Confederation of Indian Textile Industry (CITI), speculations are rife that the Chinese government has stipulated that on the purchase of every bale of cotton from overseas, a mill there has to buy four bales from domestic sources, which has dragged down imports. It has also been offloading cotton from its reserves. Moreover, the Chinese economy is also going through a slowdown, affecting demand.

Chairman of the Apparel Export Promotion Council (AEPC), Virender Uppal, points out garment exports witnessed 13.4 per cent growth during April-February 2014-15 to $15.26 billion from a year earlier that means export growth slowed since January after recording a 16 per cent increase until December this fiscal. But as per the index of industrial production data, the textile segment witnessed growth of just 2.1 per cent from April to January this year from a year before. 

The International Apparel Federation (IAF) has signed a MoU with the Hong Kong General Chamber of Textiles (HKGCOT). The aim is to exchange knowledge on innovation, apparel markets and international business opportunities.

The MoU will give the IAF an important connection in the vibrant fashion industry of Hong Kong. It helps to further the IAF’s aim to build bridges across continents by attracting fashion entrepreneurs from Hong Kong to IAF’s international conventions and vice versa, to bring information and connections from across the world to Hong Kong.

The collaboration with IAF is a step further in Hong Kong’s goal to globalise local designer brands and to create opportunities for young promising designers to get international exposure. Last year HKGCOT signed an MoU with IAF member American Apparel and Footwear Association. In collaborating, HKGCOT can strengthen its knowledge on overseas markets by using IAF’s network which reaches over 50 countries and the biggest apparel markets.

Hong Kong is a hub for the international fashion industry, especially in the areas of design, sourcing and education. Large fashion shows and exhibitions are held regularly in Hong Kong each year which attract businesses around the world. The mission of the IAF is to develop business contacts which foster dialogue and knowledge exchange between individuals active in the world apparel value chain.

For the next year Vardhaman Textiles expects profits to be within the range of 18 to 22 per cent. Last year was an abnormally profitable year for the company. The EBITDA margin (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization) was 25.7.

The group has about Rs 700 crores of repayment coming up, so the first objective is to clear those repayments. It’s also open to a good acquisition opportunity. The first of its capex plans has been announced. About Rs 600 crores is going into its fabric business which will increase its capacity by about 45 million meters over the next three years.

The last two quarters were a little tough because of sliding cotton prices, which was due to the new cotton crop coming in. That process has stopped and now onwards cotton prices are at normal levels. The latest book value of the company is Rs 447.48 per share. The net debt-equity of Vardhaman Textiles on a consolidated basis would be in the range of 0.5-0.7.

Since every year good quality cotton stops becoming available May onwards, the company does cotton procurement up to next April. Vardhaman Acrylics is sitting on a lot of cash and is examining opportunities for diversification.

Textiles should be kept in the lowest tax slab when goods and services tax (GST) comes into effect, say OP Lohia, chairman of Indo Rama Synthetics (IRISL), and vice-chairman and managing director of Filatex India Madhu Bhageria. They point out that the industry is going through a tough phase and needs a boost. Both, Lohia and Bhageria, recently met minister of state for textile Santosh Kumar Gangwar, who was briefed about the demands. It was stressed that the minister should ensure this industry is kept in the lowest slab of tax rates in the GST regime. The government plans to bring GST, which clubs all indirect taxes into one, from next year onwards.

Man-made fibre industry was hoping for a reduction in excise duty to 6 per cent down from 12.36 per cent. Rather, the rates were increased to 12.50 per cent instead. There was no allocation for the technical upgradation fund (TUF), though it was demanded by all textile industry associations, apart from lobbies like FICCI and CITI, the minister was told. It was mentioned that the budget did not have any major announcement for the sector despite the fact that it was going through a tough phase.

Lohia suggested focus on export of textile garments so that the entire value chain in the industry is benefited. He said MMF sector needs major attention from government. If enough focus is not given at this time, other countries like Vietnam, Bangladesh, Indonesia and Pakistan can overtake India. It was stressed that government should take steps to boost production capabilities of this industry.

Ahead of the second anniversary of the deadly Rana Plaza building collapse in Bangladesh, some victims are still awaiting compensation. Hence, the Business Social Compliance Initiative (BSCI), the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI) and Social Accountability International (SAI) have urged brands and retailers, who sourced from Rana Plaza, as well as Bangladeshi public and private partners to make a contribution to close the current funding gap and fully compensate victims of the tragedy.

In a joint statement, the organisations commended the companies that have already contributed to the Rana Plaza Trust Fund, established in January 2014 to collect contributions and hold them in trust under specified terms and to be used to cover payments to Rana Plaza victims and their families. However, to brands that haven’t contributed, the organisations have appealed to help ensure those in need receive support.

If Bangladeshi partners engage in completing care for the victims, BSCI, ETI and SAI said it would demonstrate their commitment to protecting ready-made garment (RMG) workers, and lend credibility to the International Labour Organization (ILO)-led discussions about establishing insurance for workers in the country. The proposed Employment Injury Insurance, a key component of the National Tripartite Plan of Action on Fire Safety, would ensure protection for all RMG workers and compensation for any work-related accidents.

According to BSCI managing director, Lorenz Berzau, the country needs to invest in a mechanism that protects workers and compensate victims. In addition, it will have a very positive impact on the competitiveness and reputation of the garment sector in the country and send a strong message to the international community that lessons have been learned after Rana Plaza incident.

The next edition of Première Vision Live will take place in Shanghai next April 13. This event marks the beginning of a new strategic approach to the Chinese market. “Première Vision Paris has an unrivalled reputation among premium brands in China. The February 2015 edition again saw increased numbers of buyers. But we also believe it’s important to continue to bring textile excellence to China. We’ll be unveiling the concept for the new event over the coming months,” said Guglielmo Olearo, Director of International Shows.

Première Vision Live will focus on special events and discussions in the heart of Shanghai’s fashion district - One Xintiandi. A special selection of jacquards, illustrated by fabric samples, will be presented by Sabine Le Chatelier, Première Vision Deputy Fashion Director. This exclusive master class will be followed by a presentation of the Première Vision Paris fashion tools and a focus on Spring/Summer 2016 highlights. The evening will be dedicated to the launch of the

Première Vision brand and its adaptation in Chinese.
Collaborations with the fashion department of the University of Donghua and the Chinese designer Rachelle Jim will make their presence felt during the event. Première Vision Live is organized in partnership with the Shanghai Fashion Week.

Union textiles minister Santosh Kumar Gangwar, inaugurated the Manipur Sericulture Project Management Complex at Sangaipat, Imphal East. He said the state’s unemployment problem can be solved if proper emphasis is given to development of handloom and handicraft and sericulture. Gangwar and Chief Minister of Manipur, O Ibobi, also laid the foundation stones for Apparel and Garment Making Centre and Powerloom Estate, Lamboi-khongnangkhong, Imphal. He also launched a scheme to promote use of a geotechnical textiles in the NE region of India and two sericulture schemes of Manipur Sericulture Project Phase-II for valley districts of Manipur and Integrated Sericulture Development Project for Hill Districts of Manipur. These schemes reflect the government’s keen intention to bring inclusive development in the NE region.

These initiative have been taken up under the North East Region Textile Promotion Scheme (NERTPS), an umbrella scheme for development of various segments of textile industry launched by the Ministry of Textiles. Apparel and Garment Making Centre, Manipur is fully funded by the Ministry of Textiles and it is expected to generate direct employment for 1,200 people. There would be three units with 100 machines and their capacity would be augmented so as to create entrepreneurs and skilled workforce for the apparel sector.

Swedish brands Indiska, KappAhl and Lindex in partnership with more than 40 Indian textile and garment suppliers have decided to reduce environmental impact and improve capacity of supply chains through a unique project for cleaner production. The new project has saved 284 million liters of water and 402 tons of chemicals annually and is now being scaled up to include several Indian states and four other countries in the world. It involves more than 120 suppliers globally.

A training project set up by India-based Sustainable Water Resources (SWAR), a cooperation between the Swedish brands Indiska, KappAhl and Lindex and their Indian suppliers, along with the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI), Sida and India-based consultant cKinetics claims to have reduced the environmental impact of textile supply chains in India through improved resource efficiency.

SWAR was co-financed by brands and Sida, in a public–private partnership that linked business and international development goals. More than 40 factories participated in the project. The factories were also able to save on an average 3 per cent of their energy cost and 3 per cent of their operational costs. The project trained more than 13,000 factory workers and managers in the past two years.

India plans to set up readymade garment manufacturing units in each of the eight north eastern states to boost the textile industry in and export of readymade garments from the region. The garments would be exported to neighboring countries. Nearly Rs 18 crores will be provided for each readymade garment manufacturing unit. All the units would be run by small entrepreneurs. Around 300 women would be engaged in manufacturing garments in each unit.

The units are expected to meet the demand for garments from police and paramilitary forces in every state besides government officials as well as school uniforms. The government-run National Building Constructions Corporation would set up the units in Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Mizoram, Sikkim and Tripura. The foundation stones in Nagaland and Manipur were laid recently.

The textile ministry and state governments would observe the functioning of these units but would not play any role in their day-to-day work. The Northeastern states border China, Myanmar, Bhutan, Bangladesh and Nepal. Some of the states have trade ties with some of these countries, especially Bangladesh and Myanmar. India’s share in the global apparel and garment market is now just 3.7 per cent as against Bangladesh’s 6.1 per cent and Vietnam’s 4.3 per cent.

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