Indian textiles suppliers, participating in a project to improve resource efficiency, cut chemical use in 2014 by 402 tons, says the Stockholm International Water Institute (Siwi). The project, called Sustainable Water Resources (Swar), involved Siwi, Swedish retail brands Indiska, KappAhl and Lindex, their Indian suppliers, the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) and India-based consultant cKinetics.
Over 40 factories from Delhi and Jaipur participated in the project, which involved providing technical consultations to factories to help them improve their chemical efficiency related to washing, dyeing, printing and water treatment. In the past two years, 13,000 factory workers and managers have been trained about how to reduce usage of chemicals in textile manufacturing like choice of materials, storage and handling, and awareness of international programs to phase out hazardous chemicals.
More than half the participating factories will continue to work on their own, continuously communicating their development to their clients in Sweden. Others have joined a network created by Siwi and the three fashion brands to continue education. The project will now expand to China, Turkey, Bangladesh and Ethiopia, while also including many other Indian states.