This year’s Planet Textiles Summit to be held in Bangalore on 24th May is being organised in partnership between the Sustainable Apparel Coalition and MCL News and Media – the publisher of Ecotextile News. The Indian Government’s Textile Commissioner, Dr Kavita Gupta, will make an opening address. Dr Gupta will be joined by experts on zero liquid discharge from the textile wet processing sector in India, leading brands such as Puma which will outline ZDHC plans on wastewater discharge, together with the leading NGO water.org which will discuss the pressing issue of water availability.

Known for her engagement and interest in environmental issues in relation to India’s vast textile industry, Dr Gupta will use her opening address to outline some of the key approaches and new challenges that the Indian Government will help the textile industry to address going forward as it continues a rapid growth trajectory. The value of the Indian textiles industry, is currently estimated at around $108 bn, but is expected to reach $223 bn by 2021, according to the India Brand Equity Foundation (IBEF) – a trust established by the Department of Commerce, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India.

The textile industry is the second largest employer in India after agriculture, providing employment to over 45 mn people directly and 60 mn people indirectly. One of the key environmental issues for India’s textile sector surrounds wastewater treatment, pollution and remediation, an issue which has also been a massive issue for the global textile sector at large. As an international event taking place in India this year, Planet Textiles will also hold a special breakout session on wastewater in the textile sector featuring Sajid Hussain, Chief Operating Officer of Tamilnadu Water Investment Co. Ltd, a company which was instrumental in the zero liquid discharge (ZLD) initiative in Tirupur – a city at the epicenter of India’s knitted fabric sector.

Sajid will discuss experiences of the ZLD project and possible ways forward including the development of policy framework, and challenges such as how ZLD can mean the generation of hazardous solid wastes, which pose new disposal challenges for the global textile sector. He will be joined on the panel by Stefan Seidel, Head of Corporate Sustainability at Puma Group who will also flag up the work of the ZDHC’s wastewater discharge initiative and how brands and retailers and the textile industry in general can roll out these guidelines across the whole sector.

Planet Textiles delegates will also hear from a special session run by the ZDHC, which will also partner with the event to reveal new work and include new results from some important pilot projects on water use and wastewater in textile mills dotted across the globe.