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With all the emphasis on craft, sustainable materials, organic dyes, and clothes that last forever, India’s dressing traditions are certainly having a moment.
Fashion’s future is often created by reinventing the past and finding fresh inspiration in tradition. As fashion focuses on becoming ”good”, many Indian companies are looking at innovation in ways to recycle, upcycle and make the supply chain more eco-conscious and less wasteful. It really is in the countries of manufacturing where the change needs to happen. With India being a global manufacturing hub its role in taking the ”good fashion” conversation forward is vital.
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Fashion for Good (FFG) is a global initiative based out of Amsterdam. Their Innovation Programme focuses on technologies, developments, and innovations in — solving water pollution, hemp value chain, bio-based pigments, and dyes among other advancements in the industry. FFG recently announced its global list for the third patch of selected startups, and three (Chlorohemp Agrotech, Graviky Labs, and Deven Super criticals) of the ten companies are from India. The companies which are shortlisted become part of a nine-month-long program that includes an introduction to Fashion for Good’s Investor Network and also a chance to participate in pilot projects with FFG’s network of global partners.
Here is what Katrin Ley, Managing Director at Fashion for Good had to say about India’s role in sustainable innovation in the fashion industry:
Q: Tell us about the innovator program?
A: The Programme scouts the most promising innovators and brings them together– global and local apparel brands, manufacturers, and investors, with the aim to accelerate the transition towards a circular economy and to scale the much-needed sustainable innovative solutions.
Q: Where does FFG feel India stands in the whole sustainability conversation?
A: India is a key country with regards to sustainability, not just as one of the largest manufacturing markets, but it is also turning into a large consumption market with a third of the world’s population buying more and more. The Indian fashion industry has so far played a reactive role in the sustainability conversation. There’s been a lot of push from the west (mainly buyers) to improve sustainability practices and compliance. We are now starting to see the leading players particularly becoming pioneers in sustainable practices in both the social and environmental arena.
Q: All three players are very different–Hemp, Dying and Carbon Emissions run us through each one?
A: Chlorohemp Agrotech, the company specializes in making fabric from hemp that acts as an ideal substitute for cotton. As a raw material, hemp requires less water and grows faster — has strong and breathable fibers with antibacterial properties and is suitable for both summers and winters. It grows like a weed which means that it statistically produces 200 to 250 percent more fiber than cotton when cultivated within the same stretch of land.
Deven Super criticals is a company that is dedicated to supercritical CO2 based processing, offering an efficient single-step dyeing and finishing technology for man-made, natural, and blended textiles which allows the use of traditional dyes, improved dye utilization, easy scale-up, and less than half the batch time needed in current supercritical CO2 dyeing processes.
Last but not least, Graviky Labs is a startup that turns end-of-life carbon emissions into industrial-grade materials, helping manufacturers produce more sustainably and creating a positive impact on climate. The carbon emissions are recycled into products such as screen-print and inkjet inks, dyestuff, and transfer inks that could be used in apparel and packaging applications.
ALSO READ: Can Fast Fashion Be Eco-Friendly?
Q: Where do you feel there really is a need for change in India?
A: Considering India is among the largest suppliers of cotton, a drastic change in cotton farming would be an area to improve. Cotton as a material deals with multiple challenges like water consumption, excessive use of pesticides and fertilizers, soil depletion, and more. Then there is factory waste and post-consumer waste; finding solutions to minimize waste and energy use.
The writer Sujata Assomull is an IANSlife columnist. Assomull is the author of ”100 Iconic Bollywood Costumes” and was the Founding Editor In Chief of Harper’s Bazaar, India. (IANS/KB)
High drama was witnessed in Kanpur Dehat for over an hour when a man, upset over his wife's alleged affair with a local man, climbed the tower with his children and threatened to commit suicide. The incident took place on Monday near Gandhi Nagar in Akbarpur, when the man threatened to commit suicide after throwing his kids down from a height of nearly 40-feet. Chaos prevailed around the area and the locals informed the police that rushed to the spot.
After about half-an-hour of convincing, the police managed to bring him and his children down. The man told the police that his wife's affair was going on with his neighbor. He had complained to the police, but no action was taken. Police said that as per the man, his wife had developed an illicit relationship with a man, living nearby their house. "As per the man, in his absence, his neighbor visited his house often. He said that he had reprimanded his neighbor many times, but to no avail," said the police.
The man had complained to the police, but no action was taken. | Pixabay
The man had also lodged a complaint with the police but no action was taken. On the other hand, Akbarpur police said that on the basis of the complaint, action for breach of peace has been taken against the neighbor accused of luring his wife. Circle officer (CO) Akbarpur Arun Kumar said that the police are trying to sort out the issue. "Whatever action is appropriate will be taken," the official added. (IANS/SP)
(Keywords : Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh, man, wife, alleged, affair, children, India, police, neighbor, complaint, suicide, accuse, drama.)
The US forces continued their bombardment of buildings and institutions in Syria's northeastern Hasakah province, as part of their alleged manhunt of Islamic State (IS) fugitives, state news agency SANA reported. The US forces are shelling buildings and public institutions on Tuesday in the vicinity of the Sina'a prison in the Gweiran neighborhood in Hasakah "on the pretext of hunting down IS militants who fled the prison," said SANA.
The Syrian Foreign Ministry has slammed the US airstrikes as civilian casualties have been reported. | Wikimedia Commons
The shelling came in tandem with waves of raids by the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) to homes in the surrounding areas, rounding up many civilians and taking them to unknown locations, the state news agency added. On January 20, IS inmates inside the Sina'a prison, which is controlled by the SDF, started a riot that was coordinated with IS militants from outside, who detonated the prison's gates with two booby-trapped vehicles, succeeding to free some prisoners.
The incident triggered clashes between IS and the SDF as well as US airstrikes on the areas, where the IS fugitives could have sought shelter in, Xinhua news agency reported. The clashes and airstrikes are still ongoing as the SDF has so far failed to contain the situation and storm the prison. The Syrian Foreign Ministry has slammed the US airstrikes as civilian casualties have been reported. Hasakah province is largely controlled by the US-backed SDF, while certain areas, particularly in the city of Qamishli, are still under the control of the Syrian government. (IANS/ MBI)
(Keywords: US forces, shelling, bombarding, syria, islamic state, civilian casualties, qamishli, tandem, syrian democratic forces)
The circulating avian influenza outbreaks, including in India, do not seem to pose the 'high' risk but surveillance and biosecurity measures are necessary to reduce spillover risk between poultry and wild birds, a UN-backed scientific task force said. Throughout the past autumn and current winter in the northern hemisphere, multiple avian influenza outbreaks, caused predominantly by the H5N1 HPAI virus, plus other subtypes, including H5N8, have occurred in India, the UK, the Netherlands and Israel with the ever recorded mortality of the Svalbard barnacle geese in Solway Coast.
The Scientific Task Force on Avian Influenza and Wild Birds, co-convened by the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS) and the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), on Monday recommended that surveillance and biosecurity measures are reinforced to reduce spillover risk between poultry and wild birds. The Task Force has convened and produced recommendations and guidance for authorities and managers of countries affected or at risk. Wild birds, including globally threatened species, are victims of HPAI viruses causing avian influenza. Affected sites also include areas of international relevance for conservation such as protected wetlands.
More than 2,400 migratory water birds died in the Pong wetlands in Himachal last year because of avian influenza. | Unsplash
It is essential that authorities with responsibility for animal health apply the One Health approach for communicating and addressing avian influenza. That means recognising the health of humans, domestic and wild animals, plants, and the wider environment and acting with a coordinated and unified approach. The Task Force reminds authorities of their international obligations to ensure their response to the pathogenic virus does not include the culling of wild birds, nor actions that would cause damage to natural ecosystems, especially wetlands.
Ruth Cromie, who coordinated the work of the Task Force and the production of the statement, said: "Avian influenza represents a One Health issue threatening health across the board. The highly pathogenic viruses are still relatively new in wild birds and this winter's high levels of mortality remind us of their vulnerability and that working to promote healthy wildlife benefits us all." H5N1 is currently the avian influenza lineage most found in Africa and Eurasia in both poultry and wild birds. The wide range of wild birds affected include wildfowl, waders, gulls, cranes, grebes, herons, pelicans, gamebirds, corvids and raptors (diurnal and nocturnal), in addition to sporadic cases in mammals such as red fox (Vulpes vulpes), Eurasian otter (Lutra lutra) and harbor Phoca vitulina and grey seal Halichoerus grypus.
Consider occupational exposure, e.g. those working on poultry culling operations. | Unsplash
In terms of human health, the currently circulating H5N1 HPAI viruses do not seem to pose the same zoonotic risk as the 'original' Asian lineage H5N1 (clade 2.2 and their derivatives plus clade 18.104.22.168b H5N6 viruses currently in China). In general, the risk can be considered low, recognising that some agencies now consider occupational exposure, e.g. those working on poultry culling operations, as low or moderate. In India, several instances of bird flu were reported in 2021. More than 2,400 migratory water birds, and almost half of them being endangered bar-headed goose, died in the Pong wetlands in Himachal Pradesh last year and that avian influenza (H5N1) was the cause.
Besides the bar-headed goose, the other species that died were the shoveler, the river tern, the pochard and the common teal. An 11-year-old boy died at All India Institute of Medical Sciences in Delhi last year due to avian influenza, country's first fatality. India reported the first outbreak of avian influenza in 2006. RSPB Scotland is calling for an emergency local moratorium restricting shooting on the Solway for the rest of the wildfowling season. It calls for urgent action to reduce the devastating impacts of avian influenza. New statistics from the most recent counts show that the UK is this winter experiencing the worst outbreak of this deadly disease on record, with migratory geese which 'over winter' on the Solway being the hardest hit.
According to RSPB Scotland, the latest population counts of the Svalbard barnacle goose show a drop in numbers from 43,703 in November last year to 27,133 in this month's count. This represents a decline of 38 per cent in the Svalbard breeding population of this species from winter 2020-21. CMS Executive Secretary Amy Fraenkel said: "Through late 2021 and early 2022 there have been numerous outbreaks of highly pathogenic avian influenza H5N1, with severe impacts on migratory birds. "The CMS Secretariat responded by convening the Scientific Task Force on Avian Influenza and Wild Birds together with the FAO. We are pleased to share its advice and key recommendations for countries affected or at risk, and look forward to continuing our collaborative work to minimize risks to humans, poultry and wild populations of migratory birds." (IANS/SP)
(Keywords : avian, influenza, surveillance, United Nation, scientists, breeding, population, birds, affected, countries, poultry, migratory, health, issue, virus, responsibility, international, ecosystem.)