rom past few years, I have been travelling around the world participating in sustainability-themed conferences and events. It has always been a wonderful learning experience attending these events where we get exposed to the best industry specific sustainability initiatives led by industry peers.
I got another opportunity to participate in a similar event in Mumbai on 5th December 2012. This conference was organized by Institute of Chemical Technology (ICT) Mumbai, formerly known as UDCT and was a part of ITME India 2012. As expected, it was full of buzz and enthusiasm, where many of the Industry experts were present to share their knowledge and expertise. Mumbai is the heart beat of the Textile Industry in India and the center of research and excellence for technical innovation. ICT unlike many other universities in India represents the symbolic example of high level research and industrial collaboration. ICT keeps up with the pace of Industrial developments, research and sustainable innovation and educates its students to a level where they can proudly contribute to the development and growth of the textile industry. It was great to interact with like-minded industry professionals in this conference which was themed as “Building a sustainable value chain through green technology flourish or perish?”
Textile and fashion industry is definitely one of the most vibrant industries in terms of creativity and its diversified product profile. However, it is also one of the most pollutive industries in the world due to several unhealthy prevailing production practices and excessive use of harmful chemical based solutions.
Worldwide industry professionals are taking a stand on unsustainable consumption practices and use of unsafe chemicals for textile production. Amidst such a scenario, it is great that universities are partnering with industrial bodies to collaborate on sustainability fronts and generating more awareness about sustainable solutions for the industry.
Industry leaders such as Reliance, Siyaram Silks, Bombay Rayon Birla Cellulose, shared their sustainable innovations in terms of sustainable fiber technologies and how they plan to develop more resource efficient products for future generations. It was exciting to hear Polygenta Technologies talking about recycled polyester and their plans to develop it on mass level and some more great innovations.
On a whole, I felt that industry is ready with innovative and sustainable technologies but there is an awareness gap in the industry which can’t really be filled with these one day events. Industry needs to grow and mature to a level where we integrate sustainable products in all innovations, take strategic decisions to integrate sustainable business practices in our operations and processes to implement sustainability in the textile supply chain. I wanted to hear more on supply chain collaborations for sustainable product developments, but probably this wasn’t really the focus areas of the conference or perhaps industry has yet to start thinking on these terms. During my presentation, I shared various aspects of sustainability management and leadership initiatives which organizations may adopt to implement sustainability initiatives in their organization.