ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s Hirdaramani Group has teamed up with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s ‘Make Fashion Circular’ initiative to improve resource use and reduce waste with better design in apparel manufacturing, one of the world’s most polluting industries.
The move towards the circular economy is based on reducing waste and pollution and encouraging regenerative efforts, said Nikhil Hirdaramani, Group Director of the Hirdaramani Group.
The group, one of the island’s biggest apparel exporters, aims to reduce energy and water use and improve waste management at its factories islandwide as part of its sustainability initiative, he said.
“Fast fashion has become one of the most polluting industries,” Hirdaramani told forum for fashion industry students and officials from the Ellen MacArthur Foundation in the United States which promotes circular economy efforts.
While apparel production has increased, the time clothing is worn has fallen, resulting in much waste which ends up in landfills, he said.
“We must meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs,” Hirdaramani said.
The group is part of a global project to redesign jeans to make their manufacture sustainable by 2021.
Hirdaramani Group said the circular economy is one that “designs out waste and pollution, keeps products and materials in use and regenerates natural systems.”
Hirdaramani said their efforts focus on garment durability, material health, recyclability, and traceability.
The group employs about 20,000 people in factories across the island and provides apparel design, production and delivery services to some of the world’s top fashion and clothing brands.