Sustainable solutions are key for healthy growth of textile industry: Upendra Singh


New Delhi: Textile Secretary Upendra Singh on Thursday said the “sustainable solutions” are the key to healthy growth and an enduring future for the textile industry in the country.

Mr. Singh said the Indian Textile Industry increasingly faces many challenges in the 21 st Century and some of the key challenges include the emission of green-houses gases (GHG) and wastage of water during the processing of cotton and other raw materials.

The secretary was speaking in a roundtable conference organized by SWITCH-Asia Regional Policy Advocacy Component (RPAC) in partnership with the TERI School of Advanced Studies, New Delhi, and UNEP here.

“To ensure an enduring future for this integral industry, sustainable solutions to these challenges are necessary as soon as possible,” he said.

Taking about the contribution of the sector in the country’s GDP growth, he said with a contribution of 2.5 percent in the GDP and being the second-largest employers in the country which is around 10.5 crore people directly or indirectly associated with the industry, Indian textile industry is marred by challenges and require sustainable solutions to ensure healthy growth”.

Rising concerns over the water management, he said reducing water footprint and making the sector resource-efficient by reducing pollution is needed”.

During the event, Dr. Michael Bucki, Counsellor at the EU Delegation to India and Bhutan, said India can also achieve the desired growth in the textile industry with the help of policy optimisation and technologies as Europe has been able to address the issue.

Prof. Prateek Sharma, Vice-Chancellor, TERI School of Advanced Studies delivered the inaugural address and stressed the need for collaborative efforts. 

“With India being the 6th largest exporter of textiles and apparel in the world and the 2nd largest employer in-country providing direct employment, the industry contributes significantly to the Indian economy in tangible and intangible terms”.

He, however, added that “the growth of this sector also has a detrimental effect to the environment and climate change.”

 According to the reports, the current greenhouse gas emissions from textile production stand at 1.2 bn tonnes annually.

The studies have also projected that by 2030 global clothing consumption is going to increase by 63 percent.

 According to MacArthur Foundation report, if the business-as-usual scenario of population and consumption trajectory continues, the textile industry will account for more than 25 percent of the global CO2 emissions by 2050 which is certain to be catastrophic for the planet and mankind.”

Taking about the possible solution, Prof. Sharma said “We take a critical view of the entire life- cycle of the textiles and quantify environmental impacts at each stage of the supply chain starting from fiber to fabric.

“The inclusion of all stakeholders from farmers to consumers, manufacturers, and designers can play an important part in reducing the pollution load and essentially result in mainstreaming resource efficiency at different stages of the entire supply chain and making the industry sustainable,” he said.


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