Project SU.RE is Indian apparel industry’s largest commitment to move towards sustainable fashion
The Union Minister for Textiles, Smt. Smriti Zubin Irani launched Project SU.RE, a move towards sustainable fashion, at Lakmé Fashion Winter/Festive 2019, in Mumbai on 22nd August 2019. The project has been launched by the Minister, along with Clothing Manufacturers Association of India (CMAI); United Nations in India; and IMG Reliance, the organizers of Lakmé Fashion Week.
The SU.RE project is a commitment by India’s apparel industry to set a sustainable pathway for the Indian fashion industry. SU.RE stands for ‘Sustainable Resolution’ – a firm commitment from the industry to move towards fashion that contributes to a clean environment.
The launch of project SU.RE at Lakme Fashion Week was supported by Reliance Industries Limited’s polyester brand R|Elan™ that produces GreenGold fabrics made from 100% used PET bottles with one of the lowest fibre carbon footprints globally, and Lenzing EcoVero that stands for ecologically responsible production of viscose fibre made from the renewable & certified raw material wood.
Addressing the gathering, the Textiles Minister said: “As a proud Indian, I stand here today to witness history. I would like to tell the United Nations that this has become possible due to the initiative of the industry, IMG Reliance and Lakmé Fashion Week. We are celebrating the 150th birth anniversary year of Mahatma Gandhi, who asked us to be the change you wish to see in the world. The sustainability resolution being adopted today is reflective of that very thought of the Mahatma.
Never before have 16 of the biggest brands of India come together to save the earth. The combined industry value of the 16 signatories to the resolution is around 30,000 crore rupees. Everything we consume, we have to consume responsibly. The step taken today makes for not only responsible business but also smart business. The Sustainability Report 2018 states that sustainability is the 4th criterion considered by consumers while choosing products. I am grateful that UN in India is also here to support this endeavor. Best wishes for this amalgamation and confluence of what is purely Indian thought.”
Rahul Mehta, President of the Clothing Manufacturers Association of India said: “In the past, several products and processes of our industry were not environment-friendly. It is a tremendously responsible and timely step taken by the apparel industry of India, especially the signatories, to commit to move towards sustainable fashion. It is a matter of pride for us at CMAI to be associated with and be one of the drivers of this most crucial Resolution.”
As leaders and representatives of the industry, the signatories to the pledge for project SU.RE are sixteen of India’s top fashion and retail brands and CMAI members such as Future Group, Shopper’s Stop, Aditya Birla Retail, Arvind Brands, Lifestyle, Max, Raymond, House of Anita Dongre, W, Biba, Westside, 109F, Spykar, Levi’s, Bestsellers, and Trends among others. The signatories have pledged to source/utilize a substantial portion of their total consumption using sustainable raw materials and processes, by the year 2025.
Renata Lok-Dessallien, Resident Coordinator, United Nations in India said: “The future of design is foremost about design with a future. Without sustainable supply chains, the fashion industry will become less and less viable. Project SU.RE opens a new dialogue to accelerate concrete actions for sustainability and climate action, and reduce environmental costs, through the entire value chain of clothes manufacturing. I congratulate the 30 brands and companies that have signed on to Project SU.RE.”
Mr. Jaspreet Chandok, Vice President and Head of Fashion, IMG Reliance said: “This is a culmination of our stated goal towards making sustainability a mainstream conversation. This initiative will be the start of a movement that can have massive impact and we hope to see significant change to come through over the next five years as major retailers move towards embracing sustainability at their core.”
Mr Gunjan Sharma, C.M.O. – Polyester Business, Reliance Industries Ltd., said: “Being an industry leader in petrochemicals and responsible corporate citizen, RIL has embraced circularity and sustainability in our core values and operations, aiming to make the world a better place for the generations to come. We strongly support project SU.RE, as it will help in reducing the environmental impact of the fashion and textile industry in the country. Furthermore, RIL has initiated various programmes such as ‘Fashion For Earth’, under which the Circular Design Challenge, India’s first sustainability award in fashion, is being conducted by RIL’s polyester brand R|Elan™ in association with the UN Environment and LFW. It provides enormous opportunities for budding concept creators, fashion designers and the entire textile value chain to exhibit their innovative ideas, designs with a focus on circularity and sustainability.”
About Project SU.RE
The five point Sustainable Resolution are as follows:
- Develop a complete understanding of the environmental impact of the garments being currently produced by our brand.
- Develop a sustainable sourcing policy for consistently prioritising and utilising certified raw materials that have a positive impact on the environment.
- Make the right decisions about how, where, and what we source across the value chain by selecting sustainable and renewable materials and processes and ensuring their traceability.
- Communicate our sustainability initiatives effectively to consumers and media through our online and physical stores, product tags/labeling, social media, advertising campaigns and events.
- Through these actions shift a significant percentage of our supply chain to a sustainable chain by the year 2025, addressing critical global issues such as climate change, contributing to the UN Sustainable Development Goals, and building a world that is safe for the future generations, as an acceptance of a responsibility we all share.
This pledge will send a strong message to various stakeholders and producers in the apparel supply chain and encourage a larger sustainable approach to production that reduces the impact on environmental and social dimensions. It will address the needs of an increasingly conscious consumer ,who would prefer to buy from a brand that engages in environmental protection. It will also underline the need for collaboration across the sector in order to bring about innovation and transformative change. Project SU.RE aims to contribute to the UN Sustainable Development Goals 2030, especially SDG12 for responsible consumption and production.
Project SU.RE, driven by the leading industry association, CMAI, along with leader in sustainable fashion – IMG Reliance will be the first holistic effort by the apparel industry towards gradually introducing a broader framework for establishing critical sustainability goals for the industry to reduce its carbon emissions, increase resource efficiency, tackle waste and water management, and create positive social impact to achieve its long-term sustainability targets.