Consumers of textile and apparel goods are increasingly asking for more sustainably produced products. Responding to this request, some multinational brands have signed the Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals (ZDHC) and committed to phasing out hazardous chemicals from their supply chains. But to improve the environmental footprint of the textile and apparel industry, all actors along the supply chain will require an improvement of skills in chemical and wastewater management.
Under the SwitchMed/MED TEST III project in Egypt, UNIDO, in collaboration with Industrial Modernization Center, Egypt Textiles & Home Textiles Export Council, and the Apparel Export Council of Egypt have concluded a series of training for textile companies to upgrade the skillset on safer chemical management and wastewater treatment in line with the ZDHC guidelines. From 15-24 June, professionals from 10 Egyptian textile, carpet and garment producers took part in the final webinar series in Egypt.
“The continuous change in consumer demand has pushed us to go for a better and more sustainable process, reducing energy and water consumption, and following best practices in the industrial applications. Otherwise, we will lose business and customers.“, says Eng. Mohamed Elhindy, Giza Spinning and Weaving company.
This training brought relevant skills to the participating companies, not only in upgrading internal skills on chemical management but also in responding to many brands and customers signatory of the ZDHC, committing to phasing out hazardous chemicals from their supply chains. Employees who completed the training and took the final online exam were awarded a final ZDHC certificate that the company can use to demonstrate their capabilities toward their customers.
“The topic of chemical management for textile industries, and best practices in accordance to ZDHC is a cornerstone to mitigate the adverse impacts from dyeing and finishing processes. Within the EU-funded MED TEST III, UNIDO is planning to develop a roadmap for actions to promote the replication of the experience to more companies in Egypt”, says Ayman Elzahaby, UNIDO Regional TEST Coordinator for Egypt and Jordan.
All in all, two cycles of training on safer chemical management following ZDHC requirements, 72 participants from 16 Egyptian textile, apparel and carpet manufacturers, together with representatives of Industrial Modernization Center, took place in Egypt. During the last quarter of 2021, two industrial pilots will be selected to receive coaching and technical support in adopting their roadmap to safer chemical management.
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