Inspection, testing and certification leader pledges support for the “Open Letter” coalition through practical service deliverables
Responding to calls from the global “Open Letter” coalition calling for sustainability to be central to post-COVID recovery in the fashion, apparel and textile sector, TÜV Rheinland will be launching a keynote webinar as part of its successful series of #AskADetoXpert webinars, titled: Time to Speed up Sustainability of the Fashion, Apparel and Textile Sector scheduled for 5:00pm (GMT +8) on 10 December 2020.
Although the world is in the middle of a pandemic, a climate crisis, a biodiversity crisis, and an economic and social crisis, Rakesh Vazirani, Head of Sustainability Services, Business Stream Products at TÜV Rheinland Group believes there is a window of opportunity for the fashion, apparel and textile sector to face these pressing challenges and decide how best to proceed.
“After creating one of the largest consumer goods markets on the planet, based on highly sophisticated and economically vital value chains, the fashion industry has a duty to act responsibly as it works towards a resilient recovery. As a member of the “Open Letter” coalition, TÜV Rheinland is determined to leveraging our expertise, infrastructure and wealth of industry knowledge to build back better and more sustainably from this crisis, and ensure that the COVID-19 pandemic helps to speed up the transformation of the sector,” said Vazirani.
Launched during the World Water Week virtual conference earlier this year (2020), the Open Letter’s signatories include more than 30 major companies, brands and multinational organisations including TÜV Rheinland, as well as the Sustainable Apparel Coalition, ZDHC, Alliance for Water Stewardship, CDP and WWF.
The “Open Letter” calls on companies, brands and organisations in the fashion, apparel and textile sector to address seven action points. They include:
- Supporting and encouraging governments to deploy Green Economic Recovery Plans
- Maintaining and strengthening corporate sustainability commitments
- Recognizing the importance of WASH and pledge action
- Recognizing the importance of nature, particularly freshwater ecosystems, in maintaining human wellbeing
- Increasing brand-led sustainability efforts and ensure a role for circularity
- Enhancing and strengthen supplier relationships
- Enhancing traceability and transparency
TÜV Rheinland has provided the coalition with a comprehensive set of concrete actions and deliverables designed to address each of the seven action points. They include working together with organizations like WWF, GIZ, AWS in organizing workshops to facilitate the practical development of sustainability strategies.
Since experience exchange has proven to be a useful motivator, TÜV Rheinland also intends to bring together factories, associations, experts that showcase commercial benefits of integrating sustainability in workplaces such as factories.
“The fashion, apparel and textile sector has been hard hit by this pandemic, leaving the livelihoods of millions as well as the future of many companies at risk. As the industry starts to recover, it’s critical that it charts a new course that takes the whole sector in a more sustainable direction,” said Mr. Stuart Orr, WWF Global Freshwater Lead.
TÜV Rheinland’s Vazirani concurs, noting that the unprecedented disruption caused by this once-in-a-century pandemic could be the perfect stimulus for the industry to launch a new era of social, economic and environmental sustainability.
“Getting back to pre-COVID business-as-usual isn’t enough. We must adapt to an entirely new normal where the fashion, apparel and textile sector is not only more sustainable, but fit for the future. TÜV Rheinland is committed to making that happen through leadership initiatives such as thought leadership webinars, and practical deliverables such as capacity building, training and standards-based validation,” said Vazirani.
For more information, you may contact Mr. Rakesh, (Head of Sustainability, TUV Rheinland) at: firstname.lastname@example.org