Sri Lankan apparel taps eco friendly clothing market
By: Staff Writer
Colombo (LNW): Sri Lanka, known for its ability to produce high-end niche apparel, is now focused on enhancing its capacity to produce eco-friendly clothing using organic textiles, where compliance remains a key component.
The island nation’s apparel sector plans to tap the half-a-billion USD global organic textile which is set to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 40% within the next five years.
With eco-consumption on the rise, it is evident that apparel companies too, are gearing for the shift in consumer patterns.
The Joint Apparel Association (JAAF) notes an increase in Sri Lankan companies obtaining the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS), indicating an increased awareness within the industry of the importance of adopting international best practices and sustainable manufacturing.
South Asian Representative of GOTS Ganesh Kasekar reveals a 78% increase in certified facilities compared to 2022 in Sri Lanka, with 136 factories currently holding certification.
Amongst these Sri Lankan companies, local apparel giants including Hirdaramani International Exports, MAS Intimates and Brandix have also obtained GOTS certification for the sustainable production of children’s wear, ladies’ wear, men’s wear, and baby wear.
GOTS is recognized as the world’s leading processing standard for textiles manufactured using organic fibres.
It defines high-level environmental criteria through the entire organic textiles supply chain and requires compliance with social criteria as well.
The successful completion of GOTS certification by an approved certifier provides companies with the right to participate in the GOTS programme, including using the standard and the GOTS logo on GOTS-approved goods.
With the standard being renewed annually, GOTS 7.0 was launched in March 2023, with full implementation required for all certified entities by March 2024.
Built on the three pillars of social responsibility, environmental sustainability and ethical business practices, GOTS covers the production process end to end.
GOTS has developed standards that cover the entire production process, based on the use of organic fibres, from textile processing and manufacturing up to licensing and labelling.
The certification process is rigorous and requires compliance with all criteria, but ultimately leads to an internationally recognized organic certification.”
The certification demonstrates a company’s commitment to providing sustainable, ethical and high-quality products to stakeholders, partners and consumers. Therefore to earn a GOTS certification, textile products must contain a minimum of 70% organic fibers, reflecting a commitment to environmentally friendly materials.
Additionally, stringent criteria govern the use of chemical inputs – ensuring that dyestuffs and auxiliaries meet strict environmental and toxicological standards.
Even the choice of accessories is guided by ecological considerations. Notably, a functional waste water treatment plant is mandatory for any wet-processing unit, underscoring the importance of responsible water management.