08 December 2021
South African small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and companies in the textile sector who are part of multinational value chains, including exporting towards the European market, are to be targeted to improve circularity, innovation and sustainability. This is to be achieved through the support and interventions of a project of the United Nations (UN) Environment Programme (UNEP).
The Innovative Business Practices and Economic Models in the Textile Value Chain – or InTex – project is being implemented by the National Cleaner Production Centre South Africa (NCPC-SA) working with a technical partner, Centre for African Resource Efficiency and Sustainability (CARES). The project is funded by European Union and managed by UNEP in Tunisia, Kenya and South Africa.
On the 25th of November, the project hosted an online workshop for key policy stakeholders, which provided an overview of the UN Environment project, as well as the South African clothing, textile, footwear, and leather Master Plan of the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (the dtic) and how it works to advance the sector.
NCPC-SA project lead in South Africa, Thembi Kodisang-Sibanda said in South Africa the project aims to assist the textile industry to address environmental challenges through sustainable business practices. This will be done by implementing eco-innovation and life-cycle approaches to improve circularity within the textile industry.
During the first phase of the project, a target of ten companies will be assisted and at the end of the phase, five case studies will be developed to share the impact and encourage further uptake of circular economy principles and innovative business practices in the sector.
“The whole point of this project is to promote innovative business practices and economic models in the textile value chain. Through implementing eco-innovation in life cycle approaches into business practices,” Sibanda said.
“The project is a great opportunity not only for the small businesses involved, but also for the NCPC-SA to support the dtic Clothing Textile Footwear and Leather (CTFL) master plan and the government plans for the sector.”
According to Sibanda, the second phase and last phase of the project will see the implementation of the project being extended to other textile companies through hosting of training and capacity building workshops.
SMEs will benefit from the training workshops by learning about eco-innovation, product environmental footprint (PEF) and circular business models and gain access to tools and guidelines that can help make their business more sustainable, circular, and resilient.
Furthermore, by being part of the project, SMEs will also learn how to calculate and communicate the environmental footprint of their textile product and assist them to develop new business strategies and underlying business models by following the eco-innovative approach.
For those who were unable to attend the workshop, kindly click on the link here to access the recorded sessions and here for the presentations.
Clothing, textile, footwear, and leather companies who would like to get involved, please contact InTex SA Project Lead, Thembi Kodisang-Sibanda, NCPC-SA at VKodisang@csir.co.za
Kelebohile Sedieane, Communications Practitioner: +27 (0)71 947 9990 / KSedieane@csir.co.za