Bangladesh international summit

by Yogesh Gaikwad

A bag full of coloured building blocks is something that comes to my mind when I look at the audience of the SDC International’s first summit in Dhaka, Bangladesh. The summit had a gathering of textile testing laboratories, brands and retailers, buyers, dyehouses and academics. Representatives from Switzerland, India, Sri Lanka, South Korea and Hong Kong were among the attendees. The mission of the summit was to create awareness about chemical compliance among three major sectors of the textile supply chain namely certification, coloration and fashion.

The inaugural session included the SDC President Professor K W Philip Yeung, BUFT – VC Dr Prof Ayub Nabi Khan, Mr Amanur Rahman – MD – DYSIN Group, Mr Puneet Arora, VP Global – Rossari Biotech and Mr Md Syful Islam Khan MD – TUV Rheinland Bangladesh.

The keynote was presented by Professor Philip Yeung. He touched upon the fundamentals of sustainability: people, planet and profit. He provided an overview of how sustainability is being adopted by various stakeholders of the textile industry. He has become an integral part of an organisation looking forward to a successful business model with sustainability at its core. He provided insights into how the Hong Kong industry is trying to rejuvenate its textile manufacturing sector by investing in high technologies that adhere to the ‘circular economy’. He explained The Higg Index, Activity based Carbon Footprint Modelling (ACFM), Activity based Water Footprint Modelling (AWFM).

Dr Prof Ayub Nabi Khan on behalf of Hon Chairman and Founder of BUFT Mr Muzaffur Siddique read out his speech. The importance of colour was stressed. Mr Khan welcomed all to the event.

The panel discussion on ‘compliance in certification’ Involved Mr Amanur Rahman, Mr Dreszig Christian – Head Marketing and Communication bluesign technologies ag, Mr Muin Uddin- laboratory Manager SGS. The take away from the panel discussion was data (safety and hazardous) related to the dyes and chemical manufacture is key to survival of the dyes and chemicals and manufacturing units. No data simply means no business. Training of dyestuff supplier and the dyehouse quality assurance teams for newer compliance norms would minimise conflicts among stakeholders.

Later, two speakers Mr Dreszig Christian – Blue sign and Mr Muin Uddin – SGS presented their papers. Mr Dreszig Christian presented on ‘Legal compliance and sustainable production – a competitive advantage’. The chemical industry is one of the most regulated and needs effective product stewardship in place. They now need to know almost everything about the product they are manufacturing. A quote from his presentation sums up the idea “most of the damage we cause to the planet is the result of our own ignorance”. Mr Muin Uddin presented on ‘Awareness on Colour of Chemical Compliance’. He covered market challenges, global regulations, ZDHC for the environment, an overview of chemical tests, product recalls, EU Reach, US CPSIA and many more relevant topics.

The next session was on ‘Compliance in Coloration’ and had two speakers, Mr Puneet Arora from Rossari Biotech and Mr M W Shohan from ERI.

Mr Puneet Arora gave a passionate speech on the innovations that can be used to reduce inefficiency and impact on the environment. Some of them being ‘Green boast’ scouring without alkali, ‘Green Bleach’ – Caustic free bleaching process, ‘Zycol floc’- Heavy metal free De-Linting and many more.

Mr M W Shohan’s presentation was a wake-up call for the attendees. He stressed the need to reduce the water/kg of fabric used in Bangladesh from 200-300 to the global standard of 50. Measuring of resources used for manufacturing is the first step in increasing efficiency and reducing wastage. He provided solutions for effective treatment of light, medium and heavy effluent by changing the layout of treatment. The textile industry is facing extraordinary challenge due to scarcity of its key resources – energy and water. Achieving energy and water sustainability is feasible through recovery, but bold steps are necessary to implement the suggested options. Failing to implement energy and water recovery options will lead to the unsustainability of the industry soon.

The panel discussion that followed included Mr Puneet and Mr Shohan along with Mr Sampath Eraphola – Director Fashion Xpress, Most. Setara Begum Assistant Professor for the Department of Textile Engineering – BUFT and the moderator was Mr Yogesh Gaikwad. The panel suggested various means to improve sustainability in coloration which included training of shop floor supervisors for reducing wastage and increasing efficiency. Implementing processes that reduce toxic and hazardous chemicals, analysis of resources used and treat the effluent to the fullest. The major challenge however remained in the disposal/recycle of sludge generated by effluent treatment plants.

The third session was on ‘compliance in fashion’. The moderator was Mr Tariq Amin – Editor and publisher Textile Today magazine and panellist included Ms Parama Shayntony – assistant professor at Hanseo University in South Korea (and a previous SDC International Design Competition finalist), and Mr Rayed Barkat who teaches design and sustainability in fashion at BUFT. It was one of the most interactive sessions. The take away from the panel discussion was: recycling can be a major industry in the years to come and many have made profitable enterprises with recycling as core business, manufacturing of long lasting and renewable textiles, complete recycle of polyester by mechanical process, design ideas that use on renewal resources.

The vote of thanks was given by Mr Sampath Eraphola.

We thank Rossari Biotech and TUV Rheinland who supported the event and made it possible.

For details of future SDC events please visit the website.

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