Recently, Birla Century - a division of the prestigious Century Textiles & Industries Ltd., has achieved the feat of being the first fabric manufacturer in India to be awarded the STeP by OEKO-TEX certification by Hohenstein for sustainable textile production. Birla Century’s plant is about five-and-a-half hour drive from Mumbai along NH 8 and located in a small town called Jhagadia in Bharuch district on the southern bank of Narmada River in Gujarat.
By size, Birla Century is the largest textile production plant of Century Textiles & Industries Ltd. Thus, the certification on sustainable production at the plant means that a large volume of textiles produced by the Century Textiles & Industries would now be considered eco-friendly or sustainable. In fact, Birla Century’s scope of certification covers the whole chain of manufacturing right from spinning to weaving to yarn processing and to fabric processing. Auditors from Hohenstein have carried out meticulous assessment required for STeP certification, including the company audit in relation to environmentally friendly production processes and socially responsible working conditions. This entire process also included the handling of various textile chemicals and possible hazardous materials, their environmental performance measured using a wide range of criteria, the implementation of an environmental management system, as well as the company's social responsibility in relation to employees, efficient quality management and safety in the workplace.
Deepak Jadhav, lead auditor from Hohenstein India and his team carried out the assessment and auditing for the STeP certification and reported very positive results during the assessment. Deepak Jadhav explained the benefits of STeP by OEKO-TEX certification “Each module and each tested area is weighted individually and thus enables a much more comprehensive analysis of a company's efforts in the area of sustainability than other certifications. For customers of Birla Century in particular, the STeP certification will establish a firm basis for placing more trust in the company as a responsible textile producer. Consequently, Birla Century can count this way forward as a long term and significant benefit to company image."
While deciding to adopt and implement STeP by OEKO-TEX at Birla Century, R.K. Dalmia, Senior President, Century Textile and Industries said, “Century group has a legacy of more than 100 years and are pioneers in the field of 100% cotton woven fabrics through ever better quality, ever quicker response to customer, ever greater flexibilities, ever higher values through dedicated customer focus along with maintenance of sustainability in every walk of life”.
Birla Century’s senior management at Jhagadias plant headed by Sanjay Khimesra has taken keen interest and supported the implementation process with utmost commitment in each and every area throughout the project. Commenting on the implementation Khimesra said, “The topic of sustainability is not new to us and it is an inbuilt characteristic of Century Group culture”. Tarun Pandey from the Quality Management System, said, “The benefits of the STeP certification are very clear. The modular structure of STeP by OEKO-TEX is clear and transparent. Each module and each tested area is weighted individually and thus enables a much more comprehensive analysis of a company's efforts in the area of sustainability. Furthermore, the analysis gives us a clear indication of where we stand and in which areas we can optimize our performance. The certification allows us to communicate our commitment to sustainable production to our customers, suppliers and other stakeholders in a credible manner. Our customers, in particular, can have complete trust in us as a responsible textile producer.”
Earlier in November 2016, Birla Century had applied for MADE IN GREEN by OEKO-TEX. This label provides information on the country in which production took place and which production facilities were involved. MADE IN GREEN by OEKO-TEX also provides verification by an independent resource that the labeled textiles have been tested for harmful substances and that they have been manufactured using environmentally friendly technologies and in a socially responsible manner.
“We welcome any opportunity to demonstrate our commitment to sustainable products to our customers. Therefore, in addition to the STeP by OEKO-TEX certificate which demonstrates to business partners the environmental and social performance, we have also decided to identify parts of our products with the MADE IN GREEN by OEKO-TEX label.” Senior President R.K. Dalmia said.
Birla Century, a Unit of Century Textiles & Industries Ltd., is committed to develop innovative products and processes that are safer for the consumer and for the environment. As a vertically integrated plant, it was set up in 2008/2009 at Jhagadia, Bharuch, in the state of Gujarat. Spread over an area of 100 acres, Birla Century uses state-of-the-art machinery to produce a wide range of premium textiles – from suiting and shirting to fine fabrics and household linen. Innovative finishes such as wrinkle-free, easy-care and anti-bacterial are imparted to fabrics through excellent automated processing with eco-friendly, non-toxic dyes and chemicals.
The plant is equipped with a modern mechanical and chemical laboratory having accreditation from NABL along with a pilot plant for quick serving to customers regarding new shade developments. The plant is also equipped with an in-house design studio and a Research & Development center for continuous innovation and development as per the latest international market trends.
Today, Birla Century is one of the world's leading textile producers to offer woven fabrics made of 100 % cotton, 100% linen, cotton/linen, cotton/ Elastane and cotton/polyester, Greige, bleached white, reactive piece dyed, reactive yarn dyed and vat yarn dyed and special finished fabrics.