Sustainable Manufacturing and Environmental Pollution Programme

TEXTILES AND APPAREL SECTOR

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The SMEP baseline research identified the textiles and apparel industry as a major environmental polluter. A SMEP procurement call launched earlier in 2023 therefore invited proposals that could address problematic practices prevalent in the textiles industry, such as the overuse of resources like raw materials, water, and energy, as well as the ineffective management of liquid effluents and solid waste. It also acknowledges the need for alternative fibres that are produced more sustainably and will not have a lasting detremental impact on the environment.

The SMEP program recognises the numerous ongoing interventions, collaborations, and research activities in the field of sustainable textiles. Therefore, SMEP seeks to fund projects that supplement these endeavours, wherever feasible.

The procurement called for solutions that covered four thematic areas:  

A. Data production systems for improvements in quality control of processes and for enabling product passports. 

B. Increased efficiency in the wet processing of textiles. 

C. Recycling, recovery, and upcycling of textile residues to address excessive amounts of unsold and second-hand garments adversely impacting local brands and going to landfills. 

D. Development of and upscaling of environmentally friendly fibres. 

UPDATE

The SMEP team is currently finalising contracts for the selected projects in this sector. These projects will primarily focus on addressing issues related to waste and effluent treatment and finding solutions for post-industrial and post-consumer textile waste. The SMEP team will share more details about these projects in January 2024.

CONTEXT

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