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Indian apex body launches an Apparel Industry Sustainability (AISA) Programme to promote sustainable practices

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Sustainability Outlook
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Apparel Export Promotion Council launched the Indian Apparel Industry Sustainability (AISA) Programme on Wednesday in New Delhi to promote sustainability in the Indian textile industry. The program which is supported by cKinetics as a partner, is designed for Indian apparel exporters to enhance their competitiveness. It aims to reduce the resource footprint by building the business case and align with the growing focus on sustainable production practices globally.

On this occasion, a  guidebook called ‘Introductory guide for Apparel Exporters to incorporate Resource Sustainability Practices’ was also launched by Ashok G Rajani, Chairman at Apparel Export Promotion Council, Dr. Ashok Kumar, Energy Economist at Bureau of Energy Efficiency, Dr. Darlie Koshy, CEO at ATDC and Pawan Mehra, Managing Director at cKinetics. The guidebook is an easy to understand compilation of common issues related to resource management and highlights ways to address them. The guidebook also presents the potential environmental and monetary impacts of such initiatives.

Congratulating AEPC and cKinetics for spearheading the AISA initiative, Dr. Koshy said that India has the potential to become a market leader by ingraining sustainability across the value chain and demonstrate that zero carbon, zero defect, zero discharge manufacturing is possible.

Also speaking at the launch Dr. Ashok Kumar, highlighted that in a resource constrained world, adopting sustainability pathways is the right way to operate. He emphasized that it is about mindsets and that initiatives like AISA are important as sustainable operations are the key to creating long term value in small and mid-sized units.

Chandrima Chatterjee, Director at Apparel Export Promotion Council heading the programme stated “The AISA initiative aims at a gradual but progressive engagement with industry for better understanding and adoption of sustainable systems of production, their monitoring and most importantly, their documentation. We are aware of the large number of small enterprises who also needs to be brought under this programme, so the emphasis is to keep it simple, but effective and inclusive.”

Pawan Mehra, cKinetics commented that “we are pleased to work with AEPC and help shape AISA as a pan-India initiative. The cKinetics team will be sharing its deep domain experience as well as  global experiences across multiple countries that we work in. We see an opportunity to build bridges and learning opportunities with other apparel exporting countries”. cKinetics presented production efficiency and resource efficiency benchmarks that covered other apparel exporters from the region: India, Vietnam, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. 

The AISA programme is being rolled out in a phased approach. It aims to initially demonstrate the intent of the apparel sector to be sustainable by creating a network of individuals and institutions committed to increasing sustainable practices across the entire value chain.  The initiative intends to create awareness on ways to achieve resource efficiency and also capture data as a step to create baseline which can then act as a guiding tool to enable resource efficiency in the entire textile sector ecosystem. The initiative also intends to honour members through sustainability awards for undertaking initiatives to achieve resource efficiency.

The launch event was marked by the presence of leading manufacturers and global brands.