BULETIN TEKSTIL.COM/Jakarta –
The apparel industry is facing serious difficulties in the form of high inflation and recession, accelerating world climate change, and consumers’ environmental awareness. To deal with this problem, the apparel industry must pay attention to sustainability issues. Any company that innovates to minimize its environmental impact will thrive.
Sustainability is carried out by identifying sectors that burden the environment, namely: material extraction, production activities, transportation and final waste handling of used clothing.
What is popular today is recycling used PET bottles. Actually, the main focus that gas should do is recycling used clothes or what is known as garment to garment waste.
These used clothes have the potential to “bury the earth”. With a large volume and if it is not recycled it has the potential to damage the environment and combustion will create air pollution.
Meanwhile, disposal in the trash takes hundreds of years to completely decompose. When decomposed, these used clothes will contribute greenhouse gases to the atmosphere.
To overcome pollution caused by used clothing, the apparel industry and retailers get the following suggestions:
- Switch to recycled fibers especially with natural bases like cotton
- Using used clothing waste or promoting up cycle textiles
- Use fiber resulting from plant-based innovations such as corn fiber, apple skin or cactus
- Use natural vegetable fibers that consume water much more sparingly in their growth
- Using certified raw materials such as Better Cotton Initiative and Responsible down & Wool standard
- Invest in regenerative agriculture
- Low carbon footprint production and transportation
Apparel business actors are also expected to do the following:
- Avoid products with fast fashion trends
- The production design takes into account the entire life cycle by incorporating the durability of the garment, and the ease of recycling
- Promotion and dissemination of ways to care for clothes, ways to increase their service life, and environmentally friendly washing
- Promote closed loop industry by introducing clothing recycling such as partnerships with charities for recalls of used clothing for recycling. (Just Style)
Turkey is the 6th largest apparel supplying country in the world and the third largest apparel exporter in the European Union.
According to the Istanbul Turkey Clothing Exporters Association, this achievement is inseparable from the good trade relations between countries so far. They also apply the priorities and principles adopted by global value chains.
Turkey’s textile and apparel exports in 2021 will reach US$31.2 billion. While the workers absorbed by this industry amounted to 1.2 million people. They work in a modern and gated factory environment.
Overall, Turkey’s textile industry hosts more than 2 million workers. When added to their families, about 12.5 million people depend on Turkey’s textile and apparel industry for a living.
There are many immigrants who enter Turkey, including from Syria which is experiencing war in their country. There are rumors that Turkey uses these immigrant workers in their apparel industry by not fulfilling the social clause that regulates the welfare and safety of workers.
The Istanbul Clothing Exporters Association states that its members export almost 70% of their production to Europe using regular audits of European international brands.
They apply the provisions that apply in Europe to suppliers of apparel to these countries. It was emphasized that Turkey does not exploit immigrant workers and child labor in their industry.
The main advantage of the Turkish apparel industry is that they can produce high quality apparel according to European Union market standards. In the production process, factories in Turkey employ dynamic and educated young workers.
In addition they implement regulations that adopt European Union regulatory standards in terms of working conditions, human rights, and environmental standards.
The proximity of Turkey to EU countries is also a plus for Turkey. (Just Style)
Taiwan’s textile industry still has potential for improvement. For its development, the Taiwanese textile industry is directed to do the following:
- Creating various of textile products with high value
This country has succeeded in product differentiation with a good level of quality and high added value. This has placed the Taiwan textile industry in a respectable position in the world textile trade.
Taiwan’s textiles have managed to outperform other Asian textile industries. Taiwan’s textile production is already on par with leading manufacturers in countries such as Europe, the United States and Japan.
Currently, the Taiwanese textile industry is geared towards a variety of products with high added value according to the needs of world consumers.
The materials used are unique through engineering technology and follow fashion trends to produce functional textiles and garments.
- Building a supply chain for environmentally friendly products
Countries in the world must pay attention and take practical steps to overcome the problem of global warming that worsens the earth’s ecosystem.
The awareness of the citizens of the world for environmental sustainability makes them demand that textile products on the market must be eco-friendly.
Taiwanese textile manufacturers have begun to increase investment in producing textile goods such as: nylon recycling, plastic bottle recycling, bio-based eco textile, textile raw materials from marine life, and water-saving production processes.
In order to strengthen the supply chain, Taiwan’s textile trade must strengthen technological capabilities according to this market trend while complying with regulations related to environmental sustainability.
- Creating Functional textiles by following the Fashion trend
Citizens of the world are increasingly aware of healthy living; hence, the demand for sportswear and clothing for extreme weather is increasing.
This opened up the market for functional textiles to increase their sales. At the same time awareness of fashion trends is increasing.
Consumer preferences are directed at a lifestyle that combines: sports, work and quality of life. The result is the increasing demand for textiles they call function and fashion textiles.
At the same time, Taiwan has also established R&D facilities to strengthen their textile industry in supplying the needs of the world’s functional textile product market.
- Increase design and branding capacity
Several well-known international brands have trusted the Taiwan textile industry to be the source of their needs.
To cooperate with international brands, Taiwanese textiles need to monitor fashion trends so they can keep abreast of quality designs and market trend fashions.
In addition, promotional efforts by carrying out branding need to be carried out effectively in order to consolidate each stage as a whole, starting from production activities, supply chain, promotion, to the market to ensure the success of the Taiwan TPT industry in the long term.
- Creating smart textiles
Recently, smart textiles have become a priority in the market demand for textile products. Smart textiles are not only needed for sportswear but also for health products and textiles for the needs of the elderly.
This requires several important functions such as: performance, wear comfort, sensing and monitoring and intelligent interpretation of the user.
This smart textile is supported by IT technology, innovative biomedical technology, in which Taiwan’s success will be determined by innovation involving collaboration between disciplines.
- Developing a quality TPT supply chain
For further development and increasing competitiveness, Taiwanese textiles should focus on the following aspects: industrial upgrading and transformation, compliance with CSR provisions, and business sustainability.
With full support from the government, the textile industry should be directed to production practices that include: lean manufacturing, maximizing production efficiency and productivity by utilizing Internet of Thing (IoT), Big Data, and Cloud technologies.
The Association of Universities for Textiles (the Association of Universities for Textiles), founded in 1994, has 41 members from 28 countries.
This non-profit organization which is located at Technologiepark 70A, 9052 Zwijnarde, Ghent Belgium has a mission to facilitate cooperation in textile education and research which consists of:
- Promotion of textile colleges’ activities and achievements in the global arena
- Facilitation of cooperation in the development and training of advanced textiles among members
- Encourage mobility and exchange network of students and academic staff among member textile colleges
- Foster active research partnerships among members and other partners
- Disseminate the results of research work in the fields of science, technology and textile design through periodical journals
- Organizing conferences to disseminate the latest issues to textile professionals and textile students
- Cooperating with other institutions that care about textiles and textile products
- Offers the organization of academic courses and training on textile-related topics
- Undertake projects in the textile sector with public funds.
Conferences that Autex will hold in the future include:
2023: RMIT in Melbourne Australia
2024: Textile University of Liberec, Czech Republic
2025: Textile University Dresden, Germany
2026: ESITH, Morocco
2027: ENIM, Tunisia
Conference topics held:
Advanced Fibers and Materials; Innovative Functional Textiles; Technical Textiles, Composites and Membranes; Protective Textiles; Medical Textiles; Tissue Engineering; Implants; Smart, Interactive and Multifunctional Textiles; Textile Processing; Innovative Textile Structures; Nanotechnology; Nanotextiles, Electrospinning; Biopolymers and Biotechnology; Surface Functionalization and Coating; Textile and Clothing Machinery; Textile Testing, Measuring Technology; CAD/CAE-Technology, Mass Customization; Modeling and Simulation; Fashion – Design and Garment Industry; Comfort Science; Conservation of Textiles; Ecological and Environmental Textiles, Recycling and Life Cycle Analysis; Textile Economy, Textile Supply Chain Management; Innovation and Entrepreneurship; Modern Textile Education and Training; Leather and shoes industry. (Autex)
Prevention and mitigation strategies by workers are not implemented at all levels of cotton production in Uzbekistan. This could derail efforts to abolish forced labor in the cotton sector.
The Uzbek Forum’s Cotton Chronicle 2022 published the results of independent civil society monitoring of Uzbekistan’s cotton harvest activities in 2022.
The report entitled Observations Of Uzbekistan’s Cotton Harvest shows that although the political will to end forced labor remains strong, the progress made so far is feared to be failing and needs to be done strong and purposeful reforms.
The International Labor Rights Forum which is the leading sector in the cotton campaign stated that the 2022 harvest will be the first harvest since the government of Uzbekistan effectively ended state-run forced labor, indicating that this activity will not produce results without the participation of workers in monitoring and reporting violations on workers’ rights.
It was stated that freedom of association for workers and farmers is very important to realize a cotton industry that is free from exploitative forced labor.
The Cotton Campaign states that the government should involve all elements related to the cotton industry consisting of: civil society, cotton farmers, and legal representatives of harvesters in order to build a strong mechanism to prevent and reduce rights violations at every stage of production.
The establishment of this mechanism will be the only way to ensure that Uzbekistan becomes a cotton fiber supplier country that meets world trade standards.
The central government has prohibited local local officials from using forced labor in the cotton industry.
However, the government continues to exercise tight control over the implementation of the cotton harvest to ensure that the yield targets for each region are met.
The existence of this obligation to meet production targets for local governments causes them to continue to use forced labor in cotton harvesting because of the lack of voluntary cotton harvesters.
International brands in textiles and apparel are closely monitoring developments in Uzbekistan whether this practice of forced labor continues or has been stopped.
This will be their basis for determining whether or not Uzbekistan can become a source of goods they need.
The Cotton Campaign emphasized that the government of Uzbekistan must address the issue of forced labor and demonstrates a commitment to adhere to international labor rights standards.
The Global Trade Union which deals with matters related to working conditions and workers’ rights stated that the human rights situation is deteriorating in Myanmar.
Trade unions have met with international apparel brands to discuss a “Responsible Framework” for exiting Myanmar, in accordance with regulatory guidelines set by the United Nations Guiding Principles on Human Rights (UNGP) and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
The Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI) reports that due diligence on freedom of association is not possible and that trade unions are not functioning properly in Myanmar.
In this regard, after meeting with the Trade Unions, several international apparel brands have announced their intention to stop their apparel sourcing activities in Myanmar. Likewise others have expressed a willingness to discuss in depth the terms of exit from Myanmar.
International brands were urged not to place new orders. They are only allowed to complete orders that are still in the process of being produced, ensuring that all legal rights of workers and payment of their wages are provided according to the provisions in force during the transaction period. Withdraw from Myanmar.
The major challenge facing the country is the absence of a functioning social security and legal system to ensure that workers are paid what they are entitled to.
Many brands want to keep their production sources in Myanmar because they think that all the regulations are well implemented in Myanmar.
However ETI insists that under current conditions it is not possible to conduct business ethically and responsibly in Myanmar.
ETI welcomes that the discussion on the responsibility of international brands to suppliers and workers has been carried out more widely beyond the territory of Myanmar.
ASEAN expressed concern over the escalation of violence that occurred in Myanmar with the increasing number of victims and the great suffering experienced by the people of Myanmar.
The ASEAN Committee will meet on 8 November 2022 in Cambodia to carry out the ASEAN Summit to discuss pressing matters including the humanitarian crisis in Myanmar.
One of the leading international brands, ADIDAS, on November 7, 2022 has started an investigation into their supplier factory in Myanmar to reveal the facts on the ground after the Labor Union strike that demanded payment of wages and dismissal of workers.