Rising demand for more sustainably produced textiles has increased the importance of recovering textile waste as a resource and called for practices that can reduce pollution in the textile industry. The MED TEST III project in Egypt supports the transformation of the textile sector by demonstrating the valorization of post-industrial textile waste in pilot projects and introducing safer chemical protocols in the textile value chain.
On the 16 and 18 February, a series of online information sessions titled “Developing a supply chain for recycled textile waste in Egypt” informed 31 companies from Egypt’s textile industry on the MED TEST III project’s mapping activities. The mapping activities aim to gain an understanding on the needs and opportunities required to develop and facilitate business opportunities for textile waste valorization in Egypt.
Local and international experts from Blumine and Reverse Resources presented the advantages of a more sustainable textile production to Egyptian textile industries. The benefits include the alignment with European customers’ requests for better waste management and recycled materials, increased profitability, improved linkages with the international brands, and supporting the know-how on circular production practices in the local value chain.
Eng. Mohamed AbdelKarim, Executive Director at the Industrial Modernization Center IMC, explains, “Circular Economy, describes a new trend of value creation, through relocating waste and extending product lifespan along the whole supply chain, using resources more efficiently. The MED TEST III project develops circular value chains towards a better sustainable world that governs social welfare.”
Together with international brands, such as Inditex, Hugo Boss, Diesel, Nudie Jeans, Benetton and the PVH Group, the MED TEST III project will explore the opportunities for waste valorization and recycling of post-industrial textile waste in the local value chain. Transforming the textile industry in adopting more circular and environmentally friendly practices will require all actors’ involvement along the value chain.
“The project framework seems, like, perfect! The main challenge will be to change the labour culture in terms of waste handling,” said Mr. Adham Hossam – ElArian Group
The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), with the support from the Industrial Modernization Center (IMC), Egypt Textiles & Home Textiles Export Council (ETHTEC), and Apparel Export Council of Egypt (AEC), will support companies in addressing problems they might face during the project implementation, such as the cultural change among employees to introduce more circular practices.
In December 2020, UNIDO, together with IMC, invited Egyptian wet processing textile companies to participate in an awareness-raising training for safe chemical management following ZDHC guidelines. After selecting the qualified companies, the training is scheduled for delivery in March by UL, an accredited ZDHC service provider. The second round of training will be announced soon for more Egyptian companies.
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