The garment industry goes green | Business

A fiber factory in the Hoa Xa industrial area of ​​Nam Dinh province. (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNS/VNA) – Green the clothing industry is essential for the sector to fully exploit the opportunities free trade agreements and participate deeply in the global value chain, according to the Vietnam Garment and Apparel Association (VITAS).

Association president Vu Duc Giang said most fashion brands in the United States, Japan and the European Union (EU) are now more demanding on product quality, adding that many importers demanded that production be environmentally friendly, for example by saving water and not using coal.

They also require suppliers to use green and recycled materials to meet global consumer trends, which means manufacturers must be transparent in production and ensure product traceability, which is no longer an option but a requirement. mandatory.

Giang said the requirement to green the garment industry’s production chain is not new but has become an urgent issue since the COVID-19 pandemic. In particular, the Vietnamese government’s commitment at COP26 to achieve net zero emissions by 2050, which would push the garment industry to go green.

“We have joined the global playing field and we have to comply. Honoring international commitments would bring benefits when we implement the signed new generation free trade agreements,” Giang said.

Many companies had invested in upgrading production lines to save water and be more energy efficient and seek sources of environmentally friendly materials.

Tran Hoang Phu Xuan, general manager of the Fashion Connection Joint Stock Company, which has supplied the market with about eight million yards of finished fabric made from green materials, said the development of a sustainable and environmentally friendly fashion industry of the environment has become an inevitable trend to spread the message. to live green. Consumers now tend to use products that are safe for health and safe for the environment.

Although greening the garment supply chain is a trend, investment has mainly been in upgrading production to save water or use solar energy, while little attention has been paid to development. new environmentally friendly materials, according to QUICK.

Xuan said the problem textile and apparel companies face in going green is the high cost of switching to environmentally friendly materials.

Vietnam has an abundant source of raw materials such as coffee, coir, mint and lotus, which could be processed into valuable natural fibers, Xuan said.

According to Giang, it is necessary to improve the environmental law to ensure adequacy with global requirements and the situation in Vietnam.

The government should also develop industrial zones specializing in the production of garments and textiles, which meet sewage treatment standards, Giang said.

Findings from the United Nations Environment Program show that the fashion industry produces between 2 and 8% of global carbon emissions. Textile dyeing was also the second biggest water polluter in the world.

Every second, the equivalent of a textile garbage truck was buried or burned. If nothing changes, by 2050 the fashion industry will use a quarter of the global carbon budget. Textiles are also estimated to account for around 9% of annual microplastic losses to the ocean./.

Michael O. Stutler