Branding Tirupur as “Green Textile cluster” Business Opportunities in Nordic Markets

In the Year 2012, August Month, Danish Federation of Small and Medium Enterprises [DFSME] initiated a Pilot Project with the Local Consulting Partners Mr. Raman Azhahia Manavalan & Mr. G Manikandan of CIF. The pilot project submitted its recommendation to the Nordic Council of Ministers and Proposed a New Project “Tracking Environmental Change in the Textile Cluster of Tirupur, India” with the financial supportby the Nordic Council of Ministers.

The proposed project has been evaluated and discussed with various stakeholders including the Danish Ministry of Environment (Miljøstyrelsen) and representatives from the Nordic Council of Ministers in Denmark. The Nordic ministry gave an input that,

“A joint conclusion is that there exists a great need to link a concentrated effort in one of India’s biggest textile clusters in Tirupur with institution building and better promotion of the Nordic and EU eco-labels in the Nordic countries and locally in Tirupur”.

The purpose is to strengthen the textile value chain for sustainable clothing based on the Nordic and/or European Eco-label and thus bridge the gap between public and private demand and institutional interest in promoting these labels and in this way capitalizing on the local Indian producers’ recent investments in Zero Liquid Discharge technology.

The purpose is to lay the ground for an approach to sustainability based on high-level technology and efficient business processes that can create a win-win situation for participants in the value chain both on the producer side as well as buyers and consumers.

Based on the findings, conclusions and recommendations in the project “Tracking Environmental impact in global production chains” in Tirupur India, it is clear that Tirupur represents a unique starting point for altering environmental standards in global textile production chains. Tirupur can become a best practice case that can be adopted by other production locations in India and internationally.

Tirupur has come a long way in implementing environmental standards in order to live up to the Zero Liquid Discharge regulations imposed by the High Madras Court. The analysis made by DFSME shows that there is a great potential to work with a number of interested textile companies in Tirupur to make their business models more sustainable and cost efficient in order to show that green production is competitive business.

This seems to be especially relevant for SMEs in Tirupur that can benefit from collaboration in clusters. Further, the analysis showed that the knowledge and adaption of the European and/or Nordic Eco-labels is very low and that it is necessary to invest in promoting these labels among companies and also make the application process easier and smoother. Despite the low level of recognition there exists a great potential for the Tirupur companies to implement these labels in order to better communicate their unique environmental initiatives to buyers and consumers.

In a value chain perspective, the analysis also showed that in order to improve sales of eco-labeled textile in the Nordic countries it can be helpful to promote the labels to buyers and consumers to push demand.

  • There is a need to textile cluster in Tirupur find new, sustainable and competitive strong leg to stand on in order to remain profitable and competitive. Tirupur has been good to compete on quality and price , but the closure of the dye has hit exports and it is a challenge to recover the lost customers are now buying from other sites in India, China and / or Bangladesh.
  • A major transformation has begun in Tirupur because of Zero Liquid Discharge requirement . There exists a great potential to support further development in the area, so that the textile cluster even more to become sustainable and competitive . Initially developing sustainable business models that use the European / Nordic Ecolabel to communicate the high environmental standards. The report concluded that both the level of awareness and interest in these brands among manufacturers in Tirupur are incredibly low , as they are considered more as an expense than an investment.
  • Globally there is a need to reduce the negative environmental impacts of textile production , for example, contamination of groundwater , CO2 emissions and air pollution. Tirupur is a clear example of the serious consequences of non-sustainable textile production that has affected both local agriculture and plain citizens hard.

Project goals

This project just want to seize this unique opportunity and help Tirupur on the way to realizing this potential. The transformation of the textile cluster in Tirupur can be a lengthy process and therefore makes the organizations behind the project , a proposal to implement a project to promote and assist fundamental changes in the value chain, particularly in relation to business models used among Indian manufacturers and Scandinavian buyers.

The project will take place in 2013 – 2014 with a focus on the promotion and implementation of the European / Nordic Ecolabel among manufacturers in Tirupur .

In the first phase of the project we will also work in parallel with strengthening cooperation between the textile and Eco-Labeling organizations in Denmark , Norway and Finland, with the aim to promote the development of Tirupur and hereby label fabric for the Nordic textile sourcing companies .

Project Activities – Activities in Tirupur

The project will allocate the most resources to develop capacity in Tirupur with the aim to start the conversion process there. This is based on the premise that the main challenge is to show that ‘ green ‘ production is highly competitive . Then, more and more production clusters pace and at the same time , both private and public purchasers be very positive to choose eco-label textile , if available , and price and quality competitive.
This includes increasing awareness of Ecolabels in Tirupur as the analysis showed that the level of awareness of these brands is very low. Therefore, the project with participation from Ecolabelling Denmark teach both companies and major textile associations in Tirupur surrounding environment markings while facilitating the implementation process of the marks.

The project will start by creating a group of 10-15 interested companies in Tirupur and analyze how far they are compared to optimize their production processes based on sound technology and also what additional investments or modifications needed for that can implement Swan or Flower.  The project will then be in charge of building the capacity of businesses. Focus on capacity development , knowledge about the implementation of the Swan and Flower and opportunities for optimization of business processes based on individual company visits . This capacity development is to help companies to initiate necessary transformation processes while strengthening local organizations so that they can support companies in this process in the future.

An Initial Stakeholder Interactive Session is organized on December 3rd Evening at Hotel Le-Pebble. Mr. Tor Nielson of DFSME will be discussing the Scope of the project and business opportunities. Those who are interested can contact Mr. Ram (or) Mr.Mani for further details and get registered for the Project.

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