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Firmly establishing itself as a frontrunner in sustainability, textile stalwart Nahar Group aims to be coal-free by 2024-end, thus affirming their commitment to a greener future.

Nahar Group’s commitment to sustainability is evident through diverse energy generation initiatives. Nahar Industrial Enterprises alone produces a substantial 25.8 MW of electricity, supplemented by contributions from sister companies and wind turbines in Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka. This reduces dependence on conventional power sources by an impressive 12 percent.

Aligned with the United Nations' 17 Sustainable Development Goals, Nahar Group is actively involved in creating sustainable communities, promoting health, education, gender equality, fostering job growth, economic development, and encouraging responsible consumption.

Nahar's sustainability commitment is ingrained in its operations, evident in initiatives such as adopting green chemistry in processing plants, supporting social responsibility efforts, and transitioning transportation fleet to Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) to reduce diesel consumption and CO2 emissions.

Furthermore, Nahar is working to reduce plastic consumption in packaging and actively embraces technological advancements to reduce energy consumption. Initiatives like salt-free dyeing and water recycling underscore their dedication to sustainable practices.

In the short term, Nahar's focus lies in developing value-added fabrics and technical products like flame retardant and antistatic materials, aligning with the vision of 'Made in India' and supporting the Prime Minister's 5F vision.

Looking ahead, Nahar aspires to create a network with domestic and export customers based on shared values and sustainability principles, fostering long-term partnerships and elevating India's standing in the global market.

 

 

Marking a significant milestone in its commitment to corporate responsibility and community engagement, prominent premium footwear and apparel provider, Rocky Brands, Inc has unveiled its inaugural Environmental, Social, and Governance Report (ESG Report).

Led by the senior management with a robust backing from the Company’s Board of Directors, the ESG Report outlines ten key priorities guiding the day-to-day operations of Rocky Brands.' 

Ranging from chemicals management and climate change to diversity, equity, and inclusion, these priorities reflect the company's comprehensive approach to sustainability and ethical business practices.

Jason Brooks, CEO, Rocky Brands, says, these ESG initiatives are the key factor driving long-term value for stakeholders while also positioning sustainability as a strategic imperative for the company's future success.

The ESG Report aligns Rocky Brands' goals with the investors’ expectations, and industry standards. They demonstrate the company’s commitment to transparency and accountability. A few of the key highlights of this report include innovations that need to be made in the products’ design, development and production to foster a healthy and a positive work environment and ensure responsible resource management, transparency and accountability.

 

 

Commissioned by the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association, (BGMEA), a new Pwreport urges Bangladesh to develop the required ecosystem to enhance competitiveness in MMF products. It emphasises the importance of positioning Bangladesh as a supplier of value-added MMF-based products for key markets such as the EU, US, UK, Japan, and South Korea.

Conducted by Public Works Commission /(PwC), the report projects, around 60 per cent of ready-made garments (RMG) designated for global exports will be made from man-made fibers (MMF) by 2030. 

Titled ‘From Shirts to Shores: Blueprint for Bangladesh RMG Industry,’ the report forecasts global garment exports will rise to $1,121 billion by 2030, from $953 billion in 2022.

Faruque Hassan, President, BGMEA, emphasises, it is important to navigate challenges and seize opportunities in the global RMG exports. He urges stakeholders to enter into more collaborations with industry leaders for effective implementation of the outlined strategies. 

As reported by the Daily Star, the findings of the report indicate, MMF and MMF-rich items accounted for a significant portion of Bangladesh’s total garment exports in 2022, with exports to China, Vietnam, and Italy leading.. However, Bangladesh's share in segments like activewear, swimwear, jackets, suits, and blazers remained relatively modest.

The study recommends the establishment of an investor-friendly framework by Bangladesh to access external commercial debt and foreign direct investment. The framework should have clear guidelines on loan terms, interest rates, collateral requirements, and an expedited approval process for specific projects to attract more external borrowings, adds the report.

To boost its garment exports to $100 billion by 2030, Bangladesh needs to improve its customs, ports, and bonds services, opines the report. It also needs to diversity exports to newer destinations such as India, Japan, China, South Korea, etc, the report adds. 

In addition, the study recommends embracing automation, digitalisation, resource-efficient technologies, and circularity to foster sustainability in Bangladesh's textile and apparel sector. Hassan underscores the importance of research-driven strategies to maintain competitiveness amid evolving global dynamics.

Supported by the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the study led to the launch of additional reports by BGMEA to establish a virtual marketplace platform for the RMG sector and promote fiber diversification in Bangladesh's apparel industry.

 

Successful 37th International Cotton Conference Bremen attracts global audience

 

Around 400 participants from nearly 40 countries attended the 37th International Cotton Conference Bremen from March 20 to 22, marking yet another successful gathering of industry leaders and experts. The event, which featured a blend of on-site and online sessions, hosted nearly 70 speakers across eleven sessions, presenting the latest research findings and innovative applications within the cotton sector.

Bremen parliament hosts inaugural event

For the first time, the Bremen Parliament served as the venue for the conference, setting a historic backdrop for the occasion. Welcoming the international participants, Antje Grotheer, President of the Bremen Parliament, highlighted the significance of the event in bringing together stakeholders from across the globe. Jean-Paul Haessig, President of the Bremen Cotton Exchange, emphasized the conference's pivotal role in facilitating exchange within the cotton community, showcasing the industry's advancements and fostering collaborative efforts.

Keynotes set the tone

The keynote sessions, a focal point of the conference, featured esteemed speakers who provided valuable insights into current market trends and regulatory landscapes. Colin Iles, Executive Manager Cotton & Sugar at Viterra, offered an engaging overview of commodity market developments and their implications for the cotton sector. Analyst Veronica Bates Kassatly delved into forthcoming legislative regulations, sparking discussions on their potential impact on the industry. Commerzbank representatives Manuel Hochemer and Lennert van Mens complemented these insights with practical strategies for navigating sustainability reporting regulations within the European Union.

Regional Spotlight: Vietnam

A panel discussion under the theme 'Region in Focus' shed light on the dynamic cotton and textile industry in Vietnam. Representatives from the Vietnamese Cotton and Spinning Association, Long Van Yarn Ltd, and USDA analyst provided valuable perspectives, fostering a lively exchange among industry experts.

Sustainability takes center stage

Sustainability emerged as a central theme throughout the conference, permeating discussions across the supply chain. Presentations highlighted innovative approaches to sustainable cotton production, including research on biological materials and discussions on environmental impacts and circular economy initiatives. The conference also addressed issues such as traceability, transparency, fair incomes for cotton farmers, and the effects of climate change.

Emphasis on recycling

A dedicated session focused on the critical role of recycling in the cotton industry, exploring opportunities and challenges in the recycling process. The discussion underscored the importance of collaboration between research and practice in advancing recycling initiatives. Additionally, the Spinning & Textile Seminar, held in conjunction with the conference, provided insights into the use and challenges of fibers in textile recycling systems, emphasizing the value chain from clothing sorting to new product creation.

The 37th International Cotton Conference Bremen showcased the industry's resilience and commitment to sustainability, bringing together global stakeholders to exchange knowledge and drive innovation. With its diverse program and high-level discussions, the conference reaffirmed its position as a vital platform for advancing the cotton industry's agenda.

 

 

A leading provider of technology solutions driving the transition to Industry 4.0 in the fashion, automotive, and furniture sectors, Lectra has appointed Antonella Capelli as the President of the Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) region, effective May 1, 2024. A member of the Executive Committee since January 1, 2024, Capelli will succeed Fabio Canali, who is retiring.

Capelli's appointment comes at a pivotal moment as Lectra continues to expand its presence in the EMEA region, which currently operates in 74 countries with over 500 employees across 17 locations and serves 4,000 customers. With the EMEA region contributing 33 PER CENT of the group sales in 2023, it remains a key driver for Lectra's growth and innovation initiatives, particularly in advancing the deployment of Industry 4.0 solutions.

Capelli, who began her career at IBM Global Business Services, brings extensive experience in IT project management, digital innovation, and consultative sales in the fashion sector. Since joining Lectra in 2013 as Professional Services Manager for Italy, she has progressively assumed greater responsibilities, culminating in her appointment as President of the EMEA region. Capelli holds a master's degree in management and production engineering from the University of Milan-Politecnico.

In her new role, Capelli aims to support Lectra's success in addressing the diverse challenges faced by customers in the EMEA region. She emphasised her commitment to collaborate with EMEA teams to deliver innovative solutions that facilitate digital transformation across the fashion, automotive, and furniture industries. Capelli's ambition is to foster collective success and empower organizations to thrive in an increasingly digitised landscape.

 

 

A recent study conducted by global accounting giant PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC urges Bangladesh to shift its focus towards manufacturing man-made fiber (MMF) apparel in order to retain its position in the global clothing market.

 Commissioned by the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), the study is titled. ‘From Shirts to Shores: A Blueprint for Bangladesh RMG Industry.’ Conducted in collaboration with the International Finance Corporation, the study charts a path for the country's post-COVID-19 recovery and its ambition to achieve $100 billion in apparel exports by 2030.

According to the findings, in 2022, half of the global ready-made garments (RMG) were made from man-made fibers, a figure expected to exceed 60 per cent by 2030. However, Bangladesh's RMG exports currently consist of less than 30 per cent man-made fibers, lagging behind its competitors.

Key competitors such as China, Vietnam, Turkey, and Italy already have a significant portion of their apparel exports comprised of man-made fiber items, ranging from 44 per cent to 62 per cent. In contrast, only 27 per cent of Bangladesh's total RMG exports are man-made fiber products.

The study underscores the urgency for Bangladesh to accelerate its production of garments from man-made fibers to meet the evolving global demand and maintain its competitiveness in the export market.

Highlighting the industry’s progress at a press conference held at the BGMEA office, Faruque Hassan, President, noted, since April 2021, 393 new factories have registered in Bangladesh. He urged people to invest in  the importance of investing in the backward linkage industry, especially in light of Bangladesh's impending graduation from the Least Developed Country (LDC) status in 2029.

The meeting also discussed the industry’s Efforts to mitigate carbon emissions and promote renewable energy in the sector with plans for collaboration with international partners such as H&M and BestSeller on a 500 MW wind energy project in Bangladesh.

Additionally, the BGMEA is actively exploring investment opportunities and business models in the recycling industry to further enhance exports, with proposals submitted to the government aimed at boosting exports by $5 billion over the next three years.

 

 

A recent report by Planet Tracker urges brands to adopt comprehensive water management strategies, including setting targets, collecting data, and supporting suppliers to transition to more sustainable practices.

According to the report, the fashion industry requires over 700 gallons of water to produce a single T-shirt, while the production of cotton—a staple material in the fashion world—requires a staggering 2,100 gallons of water for every 2.2 pounds of cotton lint. Despite these figures, only a fraction of fashion companies are actively reporting their water impacts, with just 15 out of 29 companies studied disclosing their data to the Carbon Disclosure Project.

Richard Wielechowski, Senior Investment Analyst, Planet Tracker, emphasises the urgent need for the industry to recognise water as a material risk to their profits and revenues. He calls for a shift in attitude towards water stewardship, urging companies to prioritise water conservation efforts across their supply chains.

Indeed, the ramifications of water scarcity are already being felt, with cotton prices soaring by 30 per cent globally in 2022 due to water-related stress. Yet, many brands remain oblivious to the impending crisis, with water risks rarely featuring in earnings calls or capital markets events.

Amidst this backdrop, companies like H&M are taking proactive steps towards water sustainability. H&M has set ambitious water targets focusing on efficiency, discharge, withdrawals, and pollution reduction. By signing onto initiatives like the UN Global Compact CEO Water Mandate, H&M is leading the charge towards more responsible water management practices within the industry.

However, the challenges ahead are formidable. With 67 per cent of the world's cotton expected to be grown in areas of extreme water stress by 2030, the fashion industry must confront the harsh reality of its environmental footprint, emphasies the report. 

 

 

A pioneering Swedish denim fashion brand established in 2023, Madh has teamed up with Italian denim manufacturer Candiani Denim to launch a new sustainable denim collection. 

The collection comprises ten meticulously crafted pieces, including five-pocket jeans and a denim Western-style jacket, available in an array of colors. From classic boot cuts to contemporary flares, the collection caters to diverse style preferences, emphasising versatility and durability. Priced at €220 for jeans and €240 for the jacket, these premium offerings are retailed through Candiani Denim's flagship store in Milan and the Madh website.

The collection will be crafted using a blend of up to 26 per cent post-consumer recycled cotton (PCR) sourced from Candiani and cotton fibers cultivated from regenerative, non-GMO European cotton derived from Blue Seed—a proprietary hybrid cotton seed developed by Candiani in collaboration with Gowan Seed Company.

Undertaken by Algosur in Andalusia, the cultivation of Blue Seed cotton involves employment of regenerative agriculture techniques to ensure environmental stewardship and transparency throughout the entire supply chain. Candiani's ownership of Blue Seed facilitates meticulous traceability from cultivation to production, setting new standards for accountability in the industry.

Blue Seed's hybrid nature imbues the cotton with ‘hybrid vigor,’ endowing it with superior physical attributes such as enhanced fiber length and strength. Consequently, fabrics woven from this cotton exhibit exceptional quality, durability, and resistance—an essential characteristic for Madh's philosophy of longevity in fashion.

 

 

The local garment industry of Philippine has expressed concerns over its ability to reach the ambitious $1-billion export target this year, citing challenges posed by the stringent rules of origin (ROO) enforced by the European Union (EU). 

Robert Young, President, Foreign Buyers Association of the Philippines (FOBAP) and Trustee-Textile Sector, Philippine Exporters Confederation Inc, highlights, the industry players may achieve only 80 percent of their garment and apparel exports target due to the EU's ROO enforcement.

Philippine-made wearables exported to the EU currently benefit from the Generalised Scheme of Preferences+ (GSP+), allowing duty-free entry. However, the EU's strict ROO imposes a 12 per cent duty on these exports, creating hurdles as it limits the value-added inputs sourced from non-GSP beneficiary countries like China, a major textile source. With no domestic textile manufacturing industry, the Philippines relies on imported fabric, which doesn't meet EU's ROO criteria.

Young warned of the industry's underperformance due to these restrictions and advocated for alternative solutions, such as purchasing from Free Trade Agreement (FTA) countries with bilateral agreements with the Philippines. Despite the EU accounting for only 10 per cent of the country's total export receipts for garments and textiles, Young urged the government to get garments included in the proposed bilateral free trade agreement with the EU to extend benefits to local manufacturers.

Furthermore, garment exporters advocated for the establishment of more garment factories to meet export demands, particularly from the EU. Young proposed the construction of a pilot commercial-scale textile factory, citing its potential to attract foreign investors and boost the economy, similar to the success seen in countries like Bangladesh and Vietnam.

Young emphasised on the need to produce own fabric to meet EU preferences, underscoring the importance of building a pilot factory to ensure compliance with potential ROO requirements in future bilateral trade negotiations. In 2023, the industry exported approximately $1 billion worth of soft goods and $400 million worth of hard goods, showcasing its significant contribution to the country's export sector.

 

 

In the pre-budget seminar organised by the Commerce Ministry, All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA) put forward a comprehensive plan to address the challenges hindering its growth and competitiveness. Central to this plan is the overhaul of existing power tariffs to reduce industrial costs and foster sustainability.

One key proposal involves eliminating cross subsidies and stranded costs in the current power tariff structure, which could potentially decrease the industrial tariff from 14 cents per unit to 9 cents per unit. Additionally, APTMA recommended implementation of business-to-business (B2B) electric power contracts to secure green energy at competitive rates, with an upper cap of 1,000 MW/annum to manage financial implications effectively.

Recognising the importance of transitioning to green energy, APTMA proposed increasing the cap on solar net-metering for industrial consumers from 1 MW to 5 MW. This move aligns with global sustainability trends and could bolster the country's export competitiveness, particularly in light of impending green regulations such as the EU's Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (C-BAM).

Highlighting challenges such as prohibitive energy costs, delays in tax refunds, and unfavorable duty structures for key raw materials, APTMA emphasised on the need to rationalise tax rates, deepening the stock market, and incentivizing exports.

Furthermore, the association called for the establishment of a dedicated entity to ensure the effective enforcement of sustainability standards, especially following the devolution of functions to the Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP).

APTMA also urged the industry to shift its focus from cotton to man-made fiber (MMF) textiles. This involves removal of import duties on raw materials such as Purified Terephthalic Acid (PTA) and Polyester Staple Fiber (PSF) to stimulate MMF production and diversify the export basket.

Additionally, the association proposed measures to remove import duties on recycled polyester and zero-rating duties on dyes and chemicals essential for downstream industries.

In the realm of machinery and equipment, the industry called for the withdrawal of customs duties on industrial spare parts and gas generators to promote sustainable energy practices and enhance international competitiveness.

Finally, the association advocated for expanding the scope of the Export Facilitation Scheme (EFS) to cover the entire value-added chain of the textile sector and revising provisions to facilitate indirect exporters in the Sales Tax Return process.

 

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