Revolutionising Global Textile Partnerships India’s Sustainable Pathway to ESG Excellence



The textile industry, historically associated with significant environmental social and governance (ESG) impact, has undergone a paradigm shift. The specific timing of the need for ESG in the Indian textile industry can be traced back to the early 2000s when global attention began focusing more on sustainable and responsible business practices. However, the momentum gained considerably in the past decade as awareness about climate change, environmental degradation, and social issues has significantly increased worldwide.

It is a matter of pride how India’s textile sector, which is steeped in tradition and innovation, has responded to this transformation by adopting and introducing various initiatives that address the need of the hour. Today, where ESG goals are at the forefront of business strategies across the world, international textile buyers are increasingly recognizing the importance of sustainable sourcing practices. India, renowned for its rich textile heritage, has emerged as a pivotal hub for global buyers seeking to fulfil their ESG commitments while engaging in mutually beneficial partnerships.

Improved Measures & Practices:
Measures have been taken by the Indian textile players and the Indian government to actively promote these practices across the value chain. Sustainable farming practices, regenerative farming, reducing the use of chemicals, promoting soil health, use of recycled fabrics, conservation of water through recycling, and investing in renewable energy sources, energy-efficient technologies and machinery to achieve the desired outcomes, are contributing on a massive scale towards meeting the ESG goals of Indian companies and the government.

The use of eco-friendly dyes and chemicals has started gaining a lot of prominence in the Indian textile industry which align with the Green Chemistry Practices. Indian textile manufacturers have invested in innovative technologies and processes aimed at minimizing the industry’s ecological footprint. By embracing renewable energy sources and implementing efficient waste management systems, these manufacturers not only cater to buyer demands, but also contribute positively to the environment.

Social Responsibility and Ethical Practices
Indian textile manufacturers and stakeholders across the value chain have significantly improved the sustainable livelihood and earnings of the labor and advanced their working conditions while also emphasizing their skill development.

This makes it imperative for international buyers who source from India to benefit from partnerships that prioritize fair wages, safe working conditions, and community welfare programs. The implementation of labor standards aligned with international norms, coupled with initiatives supporting local communities’ underscores India’s commitment to social sustainability. By boosting inclusive growth and empowering artisans and workers, the industry contributes to the socioeconomic development of the regions involved.

Transparency and Governance
India’s textile sector has made strides in enhancing transparency by adopting traceability tools and certifications that provide buyers with visibility into the entire supply chain. The Indian government has also introduced various certifications like GOTS – Global Organic Textile Standard which is an official indication of the textile standards. Furthermore, adherence to ethical business practices and compliance with international standards ensures good governance with international partnerships.

Government Initiatives:
The Government of India has introduced several initiatives and policies aimed at promoting ESG which brings the practices within the textile industry. Some notable initiatives include the Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC), Technology Upgradation Fund Scheme (TUFS), SAMARTH Scheme, National Clean Energy Fund (NCEF), Amended Technology Upgradation Fund Scheme (ATUFS), Zero Liquid Discharge (ZLD) Norms, National Policy on Textiles, Skill Development Initiatives and several others.
Additionally, there’s a growing trend among consumers towards eco-friendly and sustainable products, which is pushing the industry to adopt more responsible practices.

These initiatives signify the nation’s commitment to promoting sustainable practices, enhancing environmental stewardship, improving social conditions, and promoting good governance within the Indian textile industry. They aim to balance economic growth with environmental and social responsibility, driving the industry towards a more sustainable future.

Challenges and Opportunities
Despite commendable progress, challenges persist. The need for continual investment in sustainable technologies, addressing water scarcity issues, and ensuring widespread adoption of ethical practices across the industry remains crucial. However, these challenges also present opportunities for innovation, investment, and the evolution of sustainable practices in the Indian textile sector. These initiatives introduced and implemented across the textile sector of India demonstrate the nation’s commitment to reducing environmental impact.
As ESG considerations continue to shape business decisions, the ongoing collaboration between international textile buyers and India’s textile sector serves as a beacon of hope, illustrating the potential for industries to thrive while remaining environmentally conscious and socially responsible. The convergence of international buyer’s ESG objectives with India’s sustainable initiatives has fostered collaborative partnerships that transcend traditional buyer-supplier relationships.

Bridging the Gap with Bharat Tex 2024
As the Indian textile sector weaves sustainability into its fabric, Bharat Tex 2024 stands as a beacon for progressive dialogue facilitating crucial discussions and transformative collaborations. With dedicated pavilions on Sustainability and Recycling, the mega textile event will also host knowledge sessions and discussions led by industry experts. With exhibitors showcasing sustainable textile products, the event will serve as the gateway for international textile buyers seeking to forge meaningful alliances with India’s textile sector.

The event also has dedicated knowledge sessions for high-level deliberations between on stakeholders including Government, Private Enterprises and various institutions on ESG, Sustainability, Textiles Waste Management among other relevant areas to set goals for Global Textiles industry, share best practices and facilitate partnerships on Sustainable solutions.

By bridging the gap between ESG commitments and industry initiatives, Bharat Tex 2024 embodies the spirit of collaborative progress, ensuring a future where commerce thrives harmoniously with environmental consciousness and social responsibility.

Content source: Messe Frankfurt India

Bhargav Pathak
Bhargav Pathak
With a passion for the textile, apparel, and fashion industry, I embarked on a journey fueled by education from NIFT Gandhinagar and affiliation with NDBI at NID Ahmedabad. Since 2006, I've contributed to various corporate ventures, specializing in B2B, B2C, SaaS, and AI products within the textile domain. In July 2023, I launched, a knowledge hub offering the latest news, articles, and soon-to-come features like interviews and a trade fair calendar. Grateful for the growing community, we've recently introduced a Business Directory for enhanced visibility. Join us on LinkedIn and stay connected with the ever-evolving textile landscape!

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