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Aditya Birla Fashion & Retail collaborates with Germany’s GIZ to boost circular economy in India

Aditya Birla Fashion and Retail Limited (ABFRL), one of India’s leading fashion companies, announced that it has collaborated with Deutsche Gesellschaft fr Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH to implement an India-specific project to strengthen the textile and apparel industry for sustainable clothing. This unique initiative is part of the ‘develoPPP programme’ and is being implemented by ABFRL and GIZ on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).

With this collaboration, ABFRL and GIZ aim to strengthen circular business practices for the Indian market. This will support the industry to match supply and demand which was witnessing pressure due to resource constraints.

The joint project is designed to introduce material innovation, reduce inputs of harmful substances, increase textile-to-textile recycling, develop alternatives to plastic packaging, and foster traceability. The programme will complement existing business practices such as downcycling, recycling, reusing and introducing new sustainable production processes. With the support of GIZ, ABFRL along with the Indian industry players will be able to leverage circular business practices and adopt complex processes that are technically superior and consumer-friendly.

Ashish Dikshit, managing director, ABFRL, said: “We are happy to partner with Germany’s GIZ to introduce globally benchmarked circular business practices in India. India’s textile and apparel industry is the sixth largest in the world and the second-largest employment sector. A large part of the textile waste generated is sent to the landfill and incinerated instead of being recycled or reprocessed. There is a need to ‘self-disrupt’ existing practices and transition to a more circular approach. Promoting a common understanding is, therefore, crucial from a sustainable development perspective for the entire textile sector in India. Along with GIZ, we aim to create awareness among key stakeholders to drive circular approaches, reduce waste, and create closed-loop systems.”

Dr Naresh Tyagi, Chief Sustainability Officer, ABFRL, said: “We look forward to collaborating with GIZ to transform the Indian textile sector with new and robust sustainability initiatives. ABFRL is the co-chair of the Steering and Working Committee of the develoPPP project and will be responsible for setting the India agenda. It will implement select pilot projects together with global innovative solution providers.” 

Ashish Chaturvedi, Director Environment, Climate Change and Natural Resource Management GIZ India, stated: “As a partner for international co-operation for sustainable development, we are committed to building a future worth living. The cooperation with ABFRL has great potential to help improve the sustainability of the Indian textile industry. In our opinion, combining the strength of both public and private partners is a win-win scenario, as it can create both developmental benefits for the local population and business benefits for the private companies.”

Dieter Frick, Project Manager develoPPP, GIZ Germany said: “Solving global problems requires the commitment and cooperation of private sector, public sector and civil society partners worldwide. The BMZ’s develoPPP programme is a practicable instrument to effectively achieve this. Based on common interests, ABFRL and GIZ have developed a concept and are going to pool their capacities for three years under this funding programme to find and implement circular business approaches to strengthen a sustainable Indian textile and apparel industry together with other partners in the sector.”

With this project, ABFRL aims to build capacities in its own organisation, its brands and among its suppliers, and to promote circular business practices in the Indian textile sector.

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