Project SU.RE Is Indian Apparel Industry’s Pledge To Move Towards Sustainable Fashion


Union Minister for Textiles, Smriti Zubin Irani launched Project SU.RE, a move towards Sustainable Fashion, at Lakmé Fashion Winter/Festive 2019, in Mumbai on 22nd August 2019. The project was launched by the minister, along with the Clothing Manufacturers Association of India (CMAI); United Nations in India; and IMG Reliance, the organisers of Lakmé Fashion Week. Project SU.RE is an Initiative by CMAI, and IMG Reliance.

The SU.RE project is a commitment by India’s apparel industry to set a sustainable pathway for the Indian fashion industry. SU.RE stands for ‘Sustainable Resolution’ – a firm commitment from the industry to move towards fashion that contributes to a clean environment.

Addressing the gathering, Irani said: “As a proud Indian, I stand here today to witness history. I would like to tell the United Nations that this has become possible due to the Initiative of the industry, CMAI, IMG Reliance and Lakmé Fashion Week. We are celebrating the 150th birth anniversary year of Mahatma Gandhi, who asked us to be the change you wish to see in the world. The sustainability resolution being adopted today is reflective of that very thought of the Mahatma.”

She further  stated, “Sixteen Indian brands who are signatories to the resolution, have a combined  industry  value of Rs 30,000 crore. Everything we consume, we have to consume responsibly. The step taken today makes for not only responsible business but also smart business. The Sustainability Report 2018 states that sustainability is the 4th criterion considered by consumers while choosing products. I am grateful that UN in India is also here to support this endeavour. Best wishes for this amalgamation and confluence of what is purely Indian thought.”

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Rahul Mehta, President of The Clothing Manufacturers Association of India said: “In the past, several products and processes of our industry were not environment-friendly. It is a tremendously responsible and timely step taken by the apparel Industry of India, especially the signatories, to commit to move towards sustainable fashion. It is a matter of pride for us at CMAI to be associated with and be one of the drivers of this most crucial resolution.”

The SU.RE signatories include Future Group, Shopper’s Stop, Aditya Birla Retail, Arvind Brands, Lifestyle, Max, Raymond, House of Anita Dongre, W, Biba, Westside, 109F, Spykar, Levi’s, Bestsellers, and Trends among others. These brands have pledged to substantially shift towards sustainable materials and processes, by 2025.

Renata Lok-Dessallien, Resident Coordinator, United Nations in India said, “The future of design is foremost about design with a future. Without sustainable supply chains, the fashion industry will become less and less viable. Project SU.RE opens a new dialogue to accelerate concrete actions for sustainability and climate action, and reduce environmental costs, through the entire value chain of clothes manufacturing.”

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Jaspreet Chandok, Vice President and Head of Fashion, IMG Reliance said, “This is a culmination of our stated goal towards making sustainability a mainstream conversation. This initiative will be the start of a movement that can have massive impact and we hope to see significant change to come through over the next five years as major retailers move towards embracing sustainability at their core.”

The launch of Project SU.RE at Lakmé Fashion Week was supported by the Lenzing EcoVero that stands for ecologically responsible production of viscose fibre made from the renewable and certified raw material wood, and R Elan that produces Green Gold fibre made from 100% used PET bottles with one of the lowest fibre carbon footprints globally.

The five-point SU.RE pledge:

  1. Develop a complete understanding of the environmental impact of the garments being currently produced by our brand.
  2. Develop a sustainable sourcing policy for consistently prioritising and utilising certified raw materials that have a positive impact on the environment.
  3. Make the right decisions about how, where, and what we source across the value chain by selecting sustainable and renewable materials and processes and ensuring their traceability.
  4. Communicate our sustainability Initiatives effectively to consumers and media through our online and physical stores, product tags/labeling, social media, advertising campaigns and events.
  5. Through these actions shift a significant percentage of our supply chain to a sustainable chain by the year 2025, addressing critical global Issues such as climate change, contributing to the UN Sustainable Development Goals, and building a world that is safe for the future generations, as an acceptance of a responsibility we all share.
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