VN textile, apparel businesses need to focus on sustainability: conference

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A conference held in HCM City on June 21 to discuss sustainability in cotton supply chains said businesses need to make sure they source their cotton and manufacture in an environment-friendly way. — VNS Photo Việt Dũng

HCM CITY — Textile and apparel businesses in Việt Nam need to pay more attention to sustainability with regard to cotton sourcing, reducing environmental impacts and adhering to global labour conventions, a conference heard in HCM City on Tuesday.

Trần Như Tùng, deputy chairman of the Việt Nam Textile and Apparel Association, said the textile and apparel industry accounts for a sizeable portion of the country’s electricity consumption, and so if it saves power or uses power more efficiently, it would be good for the environment.

Việt Nam is committed to achieving zero emissions by 2050, and many local companies to reducing their environmental footprints, he said.

Businesses need to pay attention to their cotton sources, which have to be environmentally friendly and not involve forced labour, he said.

“More and more customers are aware of sustainability issues. Many of them are willing to spend more money on products that are environmentally friendly.

“By 2030 Việt Nam’s textile and apparel industry aims to become a top destination for buyers of sustainable supplies of textile and apparel products that do not harm the environment or people. It will use power and water in a more circular, efficient and sustainable manner.”

Vũ Đức Giang, chairman of the association, said sustainable textile and apparel products need to ensure sustainability across all stages of production such as raw material farms, manufacturing lines and dyeing processes.

Technologies have to be environmentally friendly, and businesses have to abide by global conventions on labour, he said.

Many Vietnamese businesses are unable to export their goods to the US since they do not fulfil origin traceability requirements, he said.

Businesses need to pay close attention to global political relations, and quickly adapt to global changes.

Võ Mạnh Hùng of the US Cotton Council International in Việt Nam said: “Businesses, especially exporters to the US, should partake in sustainable cotton programmes, as they help certify businesses using material sources that are transparent and sustainable.”

Trần Như Tùng’s Thành Công Textile Garment Investment Trading JSC has been installing solar panels and taking part in the US Cotton Trust Protocol, which helps prove that his company uses sustainable cotton sources.

The US accounts for around 42 per cent of Việt Nam’s textile and apparel exports, and Việt Nam is one of the US’s biggest buyers of raw cotton.

Exports of textile and apparel this year has been worth around US$22 billion, a 23 per cent increase from last year. VNS

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