The textile and apparel industry creates huge amounts of waste and pollution, equal to the oil industry. India is one of the world’s largest textile producers and importers of used clothing, but lacks an infrastructure to deal with textile waste, leaving an estimated 4 million informal waste workers trapped in low-income, unreliable jobs. The model by IKEA and CAIF is aimed to reduce the environmental impact of the clothing industry while enabling the workers to increase their incomes and afford a better life.
The five-year project is being seed funded by IKEA. It’s objective is to create over 5000 green jobs while saving at least 20 million kilos of textiles waste from ending up in landfills by 2026.
Speaking at Sankalp Global Summit 2021, Vivek Singh, Head of Portfolio – Employment and Entrepreneurship, IKEA Foundation, said, “There is huge potential in the textile waste sector not only to become more sustainable but also to create better livelihoods for a large number of people at the bottom of the pyramid. We believe that green and circular entrepreneurship in India’s textile waste sector offers an opportunity for vulnerable workers to lift themselves out of poverty while protecting the planet.”
In the first phase of the project, Enviu and CAIF will seek partnerships with manufacturers, brands and innovators to scale and replicate solutions to manage textiles waste; as well as NGO’s and other civil society actors to build skills and capacities amongst the waste workers in India.
Venkat Kotamaraju – Director, CAIF, said in a statement, “The scale and scope of the problems being addressed by the textiles and apparel industry globally demands an active investment into and setting up of ecosystem models and mechanisms that will make “circularity within reach” and “de-risks the participation” of the value chain stakeholders in a circular economy.”
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