Sustainability starts from self-Sustainable living

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Exclusive Interview with Dr.Vijay Gotmare, Former Head, Department of Textile Manufactures, VJTI, Mumbai.

Education and professional journey

Dr.Vijay Gotmare ,Ph.D.(Tech.) in Textile Engineering (Textile Chem.)  from Institute of Chemical Technology ( ICT ) Mumbai University, India. He served as Head of Textile Manufactures  Department , Veermata Jijabai Technological Institute(VJTI), Mumbai-19 and have 32 years of experience in academic and three years in industry. He has awarded most prestigious award of Hon. Fellow of Textile Association (Hon. F.T.A.) of year 2017..His research area is Chemical modification of fibers, Eco-Textile Materials, Nano material application in Textiles for value addition , recycling and reuse of textile waste, Sustainable textile materials. He has more than 62 numbers of research paper in national and international conferences and research journal and guided more than twenty five  post graduate and three doctoral students. He works as Chairman, Eco-Mark Committee of KVIC, Government of India and have membership of several professional bodies such as Textile Association of Indian as GC member, Indian Fibre Society, Indian Natural Fibre society, ICT and VJTI Alumni Association. He worked as an evaluator of various research projects under Department of Biotechnology, DST, Government of India in the area of biotechnological application in textiles. He was also member of Research advisory committee at BTRA, Mumbai. He works as member of Board of Studies (BoS) of various Indian universities. He also worked as Ph.D. thesis evaluator for various  Indian universities. He visited NCSU , USA to attend training programme on specialty subject and also  visited Australia, Germany, France, South Africa, Egypt , Mauritius, and Thailand for training and academic purposes. Three patents application currently under review and author for book chapter on topic  “Recycling of textile mill waste” in a book “ Biopolymers and Biomaterials” by Apple Academic Press and CRC,Taylor and Francis Group is also in his credit.. He has also completed ‘Sustainable Fashion” course from Copenhagen Business School, Denmark.

 Being an educationist, your journey in industry life and interaction.

After post graduation from UDCT (Now Institute if Chemical Technology (ICT), I worked with Raymond’s and Jam Shree Mills, Solapur in my early days and understood how a academic study and industry working have much difference and I always feel there should be Institute –Industry Interaction and would invite Industry expert once in a week  by educational institute to make students more update about changes in technology. During student’s industry internship period, Faculty uses to get chance to visit them and learn many innovation so that during lecture delivery the knowledge can be share with students. It is more advisable to conduct a day workshop on emerging trends in industry by inviting resource person from reputed textile organization. Many conferences are organized by various textile bodies including exhibition like ITMA, during this period It would be mandatory for all textile institution to arrange compulsory visits to this exhibits. During my HoD  tenure  ,we used to organized training to industry persons since many of them need  updates and management gradates working in textile organization would like to learn about textiles manufacturing and processes to help them in product promotion and marketing. Efforts were taken to introduce courses like “Sustainable textile Materials “and Eco-friendly Textile Production “at UG and PG level. One of my PG students work on ‘Solar Textiles” under aegis of “Door Dharshan” Sayandri, National Level Channel” through their programme “ATULAY SHODH” (based on Scientific development) was aired in 2013.

As a Mentor, what qualities, capabilities you choose in your Ph.D.students

Well, every student wish to join research programme-Ph.D.-study has already gone through partial grooming process during his M.Tech. study. Today’s practices in academic for Ph.D. student are totally different than a two decade before .Students has a tough journey in their first year study period.. They have to complete certain mandatory courses and research based related courses which help mentor to understand his/her analytical and subject knowledge. I make students quite capable and orient him/her to plan his research programmatic and  always see hard working qualities and surely smart working qualities in them.. I also insist the student should well groomed about internet and computer based programme needed for his study. I specially see how best he can connect and develop his network and would become comfortable working with other colleagues in their research lab.I always discussed with them about Citation, Scopus journal and new textile journals published time to time.I insist student for presentation of their research work in reputed numbered conferences and to published their research paper in highly reputed journals which made them easy in facing open defense.

 How has the industry evolved In the last few years ?

Let me tell you, every industry has ups and down and textile industry has no exception. Since we are more than 130 Cr and majority are young population and per capita income has gone much above, people love to spend on fashion fabric,ecofriendly dress materials, multifunctional dress materials and the reason for evolvement of this industry. More over there is rise in technical textiles area of all those twelve sector in general and medical textile, home furnishing textiles, sports textile in particular. If you look into innovations in this sector about in machinery and automation, we are heading toward Industry 4.0.This shows there is growth in this industry. I would like to add that  some challenges are there due to this pandemic situation. Slowly we are controlling this situation and industry will start functioning in big way. We can take advantages of this situation since some of them are shifting toward  this new normal and entered in health hygiene textile business. The textile industry is expected to attract investment of about $120 billion by 2024-25 and create about 35 million additional jobs in the process. Exports are also expected to rise from the current $39 billion to $300 billion by 2024-25.This has been reported currently.

 What are the latest trends in the industry?

The domestic and global textile industry is changing to meet the needs of the new market. With new trends in innovations in fibres, manufacturing and chemical processing technology, non-woven materials, domestic sales, green textiles and environmental sustainability, textiles will no longer just be clothing anymore. These new trends have started to increase growth in the market as well. Current viral infection has forced industry to develop anti viral finishes, antimildew finishes on garments. Use of organic textile materials, recycling and up cycling technology are well adopted in denim materials. Many fashion brands are adopting this and bringing innovative products in market. Khadi and Handloom textile sectors are getting good market. The textile industry is also looking to use nanotechnology and nano science concept  to create more scientific clothing, like fire-repellent, self-cleaning, and water-repellent items and medical textile materials. Product advancements in the textile industry include those related to color-adaptive clothing and fabrics, composite materials, DNA clothing, and smart clothing.

Sustainability, Carbon footprint, Waste management how it’s relevant and important? It’s just a talk of the town or any fruitful measures taken by industry?

Well , very valid question. During my last talk at at Techtextil India Symposium 2019, I begin my talk saying that if you would have decided in your schooling to keep few alphabets study as an option then imagine what would have happened to you. Exactly the same theory is true if you decide to follow ‘Sustainability” as an option in your manufacturing practices, You would be in trouble in many different ways .Carbon footprint, waste minimization are very important concept in this 21st century and we are experiencing worldwide trouble since no one had focused this issues. People, profit and planet are to be taken care and this would possible using green technologies and adopting sustainability practices. The carbon footprint is also an important component of the Ecological Footprint, since it is one competing demand for biologically productive space. Low carbon foot print processes cut costs by reducing waste of raw materials and energy. Water and energy usage reductions by the textile dyeing and finishing sector can help reduce global carbon dioxide emissions.Goverment has made various regulations in this regards. It our duty to follow them very stringently to save our planet. Awareness about these issues is already spreading from school education and new education policy would be taken care . The various stages in textile manufacturing hurt the environment through the constant and relatively huge emissions of GHG, water withdrawal, the release of toxins into our ecosystem from pesticides and herbicides used in growing cotton, and many others. Developing sustainable  textile is best solution to these problems.

 How you personally adopted sustainability in your life. 

What I believe that Sustainable living is a lifestyle that attempts to reduce an individual’s or society’s use of the Earth’s natural resources and personal resources. Practitioners of sustainable living often attempt to reduce their carbon footprint by altering methods of transportation, energy consumption, and diet. There is saying “create more out of less”is well fit for this practice which I adopt and follow. Going paperless, use of solar energy, green office, water conservation at home and working places, training people to do sustainable activity, minimizing waste, using kitchen waste for compost purpose, resell and donate cloth, recycling goods at home are some of the practices I personally adopt besides giving talk on sustainability in textile and fashion industry. Recently I was involved in giving virtual talk on “Handloom Textiles and ecofriendly practices” on a  eve of National Handloom day and discussing with fashion industry personals on sustainable textile materials and their leading characteristics through STTP programme organized by BAIT,Salem,Tamil Nadu.

I would love to quote “Sustainable development is the pathway to the future we want for all. It offers a framework to generate economic growth, achieve social justice, exercise environmental stewardship and strengthen governance.”

Contact Dr. Vijay Gotmare : [email protected]