GOTS Sem­i­nar: Sus­tain­abil­ity as Key to Busi­ness Ef­fi­ciency

Business of Fashion - - Contents -

Re­ports from the GOTS In­dia Sem­i­nar 2018, or­gan­ised by Global Or­ganic Tex­tile Stan­dard (GOTS) in Tamil Nadu, that was at­tended by 180 del­e­gates from five coun­tries.

More than 180 del­e­gates from five coun­tries at­tended ‘GOTS In­dia Sem­i­nar 2018’, or­gan­ised by Global Or­ganic Tex­tile Stan­dard (GOTS). The sem­i­nar was held at Le Meri­dien Coim­bat­ore, Tamil Nadu, In­dia on 29th May 2018. The sem­i­nar brought to­gether im­por­tant stake­hold­ers un­der one roof to dis­cuss ef­fi­ciency through sus­tain­abil­ity. The at­ten­dees in­cluded In­ter­na­tional brands and re­tail­ers, In­dian fashion brands, tex­tile man­u­fac­tur­ers, chem­i­cal sup­pli­ers, test­ing lab­o­ra­to­ries, ac­cred­i­ta­tion bod­ies, aca­demi­cians, in­dus­try or­gan­i­sa­tions, cer­ti­fi­ca­tion bod­ies, stan­dard bod­ies, me­dia, ser­vice providers, con­sul­tants and other im­por­tant stake­hold­ers from the field of or­ganic tex­tiles and sus­tain­abil­ity.

The theme of the sem­i­nar was ‘Sus­tain­abil­ity as Key to Busi­ness Ef­fi­ciency’. With time, fo­cus on sus­tain­able devel­op­ment has sig­nif­i­cantly in­creased both in In­dia and the world. Ac­tively im­ple­ment­ing guide­lines for pro­tec­tion of en­vi­ron­ment and peo­ple is seen as the in­stru­ment to se­cure the fu­ture and rep­u­ta­tion of op­er­a­tions in the long run, In­dia has made im­mense progress in terms of pro­cess­ing of or­ganic tex­tiles. As per De­cem­ber 2017 data, out of the 5,024 fa­cil­i­ties GOTS cer­ti­fied world­wide, the high­est, more than 1,650 are in In­dia.

In his wel­come address, Su­mit Gupta, Sem­i­nar Co­or­di­na­tor and GOTS Rep­re­sen­ta­tive in In­dia and Bangladesh, in­tro­duced the theme and the ses­sions for the day.

Four ses­sions of the sem­i­nar ad­dressed the var­i­ous as­pects of ef­fi­ciency in sus­tain­able fashion and tex­tile man­u­fac­tur­ing. The ses­sions in­cluded buy­ers’ per­spec­tive, chem­i­cal com­pli­ance, so­cial re­spon­si­bil­ity and fu­tur­is­tic cer­ti­fi­ca­tion sys­tems.

SES­SION 1: Ef­fi­ciency through Sus­tain­abil­ity in Fashion: Buy­ers’ Per­spec­tive

– was mod­er­ated by Clau­dia Ker­sten, Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor, GOTS, Ger­many. Ker­sten made a short open­ing pre­sen­ta­tion and ex­plained how the eco/so­cial ef­fi­ciency of a prod­uct or ser­vice is in­versely pro­por­tional to its non­sus­tain­able eco/so­cial im­pact. The speak­ers in this ses­sion were Bruno Van Sieleghem, Sus­tain­abil­ity & PR Man­ager, Stan­ley/Stella, Bel­gium; Ga­gan Kapoor, Global Cot­ton Sup­ply Chain Re­spon­si­ble, H&M and Mad­hav Lo­hia, Brand Head, SoulS­pace. The In­dian brand SoulS­pace shared their vi­sion of GOTS cer­ti­fied cloth­ing line for In­dian con­sumers as one of the first movers. In­ter­na­tional brands H&M and Stan­ley/Stella re­con­firmed their com­mit­ment to or­ganic tex­tiles as a part of their strat­egy to achieve higher lev­els of sus­tain­abil­ity in their re­spec­tive sup­ply chains.

SES­SION 2: Ef­fi­ciency through GOTS Cri­te­ria and Chem­i­cal Com­pli­ance

– was mod­er­ated by Prasad Pant, Di­rec­tor - South Asia, ZDHC Foun­da­tion. The speak­ers for this ses­sion were Su­mit Gupta, Deputy Di­rec­tor Stan­dards Devel­op­ment & Qual­ity As­sur­ance, GOTS; D Subaash Ku­maar, Vice Pres­i­dent, Anu­graha Fashion Mill Pvt. Ltd. It was learnt in the ses­sion how tools like GOTS & ZDHC con­cretely con­trib­ute to ef­fi­ciency since they take over the work re­gard­ing chem­i­cal com­pli­ance man­age­ment. Subaash Ku­maar pre­sented case-study on how in­vest­ments in en­vi­ron­men­tal com­pli­ances have led to in­crease in sav­ings and there­fore led to busi­ness ef­fi­ciency and higher prof­itabil­ity.

SES­SION 3: Ef­fi­ciency through So­cial Com­pli­ance

– was mod­er­ated by Herbert Lad­wig, Pol­icy and Le­gal Ad­vi­sor, GOTS, Ger­many. The speak­ers in this ses­sion were R S Balagu­runathan, Founder, Anandi En­ter­prises; A Narayansamy, Gen­eral Man­ager, Arm­strong Spin­ning Mills; Mona Gupta, Founder Di­rec­tor, Su­trad­hara and Dr. Bi­nay Choudhury, Chair­man, CU In­spec­tions and Cer­ti­fi­ca­tions In­dia Pvt. Ltd. While, Balagu­runathan spoke about the in­her­ent so­cial ben­e­fits of or­ganic

“H&M AND STAN­LEY/ STELLA RE­CON­FIRMED THEIR COM­MIT­MENT TO OR­GANIC TEX­TILES AS A PART OF THEIR STRAT­EGY TO ACHIEVE HIGHER LEV­ELS OF SUS­TAIN­ABIL­ITY IN THEIR RE­SPEC­TIVE SUP­PLY CHAINS.

farm­ing. It was also ev­i­dent that it is rel­a­tively dif­fi­cult to mea­sure ef­fi­ciency in so­cial sec­tor as the most re­sults are long term. We also need to im­prove com­mu­ni­ca­tion about so­cial mat­ters­both with the work­ers and ex­ter­nal stake­hold­ers.

SES­SION 4: ‘Be­ing Fu­ture Ef­fi­cient:

Evo­lu­tion of Stan­dard’ – was mod­er­ated by Rahul Bha­jekar, Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor, GOTS. He made a pre­sen­ta­tion on the ses­sion ti­tle and shared the on­go­ing work in the field of GMO test­ing and the Cen­tral Data­base Project. This was fol­lowed by a Panel Dis­cus­sion on the topic, ‘Fu­tur­is­tic Cer­ti­fi­ca­tion Sys­tems for Tex­tile Chem­i­cals’. The panel­lists were Lars Doe­mer, Co-Founder, GoBlu In­ter­na­tional, Ger­many; Dr. Pankaj De­sai, Head - Re­search and Devel­op­ment, Colour­tex; Dr. Ra­jesh Ra­ma­murthy, Head - Prod­uct Stew­ard­ship Asia, Archroma;

Dr. Siva Par­iti, Global Tech­ni­cal Pro­gram Man­ager, Sus­tain­able Tex­tile So­lu­tions; and Shri­ram At­gur, Head - Sus­tain­abil­ity and Prod­uct Stew­ard­ship, AEON In­dia. Sev­eral pan­elists opined that Eco­la­bels like GOTS add value to prod­uct and process for both ver­i­fi­ca­tion and ef­fec­tive com­mu­ni­ca­tion. Har­mo­niza­tion of MRSLs as well as health and safety of work­ers at chem­i­cal man­u­fac­tur­ing fa­cil­i­ties was also dis­cussed in the panel.

Subaash Ku­maar, Vice Pres­i­dent, Anu­graha Fashion Mill Pvt. Ltd., said, “It was a very pos­i­tive gath­er­ing and GOTS has done great ar­range­ments at all fronts. I could meet many new friends and I am re­ally happy with the re­sponse what I got from the au­di­ence at the sem­i­nar.”

Su­mit Gupta, with his clos­ing re­marks said, “In­dian con­sumers as well as In­dian brands are look­ing for eco­log­i­cal fashion prod­ucts, but gaps re­main for cri­te­ria and com­mu­ni­ca­tion. GOTS has the po­ten­tial to fill these gaps by pro­vid­ing uni­form cri­te­ria for sus­tain­able pro­duc­tion and com­mu­ni­ca­tion in all parts of the sup­ply chain.”

Prasad Pant, Di­rec­tor - South Asia for Am­s­ter­dam based ZDHC Foun­da­tion, “All stake­hold­ers of the in­dus­try were present here. I con­grat­u­late GOTS team for the suc­cess of GOTS In­dia Sem­i­nar 2018.”

“It was a won­der­ful gath­er­ing of In­dian and in­ter­na­tional high level ex­perts. We had con­crete ex­am­ples of in­vest­ments in so­cial and en­vi­ron­men­tal as­pects lead­ing to busi­ness ef­fi­ciency and prof­itabil­ity,” said Clau­dia Ker­sten, Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor, GOTS.

“I was very pleased with the re­sponse we had from across the sup­ply chain, chem­i­cal man­u­fac­tur­ers in­cluded.

The speak­ers were on-point and the au­di­ence in­ter­ac­tion was ex­cel­lent. It all goes to show that GOTS in In­dia has a sus­tained, grow­ing fu­ture,” said Rahul Bha­jekar, anag­ing Di­rec­tor, GOTS.

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