The fund initiated by the Good Fashion Fund, the Fashion for Good and Laudes Foundation, all based in Amsterdam/Netherlands, to drive sustainable manufacturing practices, signed its first deal with Indian manufacturer Pratibha Syntex Ltd., Mumbai, in 2020 for a US$ 4.5 million, long-term loan. With the final disbursement of the loan made in June 2022, and the first on-site monitoring visit in the week of December 5, 2022, the investment is already showing fruitful results and positive financial, environmental and social impact in Pratibha’s spinning, processing and garmenting divisions.
The $ 4.5 million investment is to replace machinery in the spinning, processing, and garmenting divisions, as well as provide new equipment for the expansion of their activities and facilities. The first on-site monitoring visit took place in which the Good Fashion Fund was supported by its advisors Sphera, Fairwear Foundation, Global CAD and Adelphi to be able to establish progress made since the investment.
As expected, the impact results of the equipment comfortably surpass the threshold of 50% savings in all key areas (specifically the 3 goods: energy, water and materials). All parties were impressed with the progress made on the environmental and social action items and particularly with the roadmap developed by the company for further improvements as part of their vision 2025 and beyond.
Since the investment has been made, Pratibha Syntex has installed new spinning equipment, solar panels, a continuous tumble dryer, and made enhancements to effluent treatment. The new spinning equipment (card chute, comber, ring-frame, autoconer) operates significantly more efficiently than the legacy machinery, both in terms of energy usage and waste generated. Investment in solar panels is ongoing but already more than 30% of usage is met by renewable energy and additional installations are planned aimed at increasing that share to 50%. The continuous tumble dryer has replaced several pieces of equipment used for treating fabrics and has fully eliminated the need for water and has significantly reduced power usage in this process.
(Source: Good Fashion Fund)
The effluent treatment plant has been enhanced with new filters allowing for additional recycling of water, reclaiming most of the water used (some water is lost to evaporation), the elimination of chemical sludge generated (reducing landfill waste) and reducing energy consumption. In order to achieve complete circularity and reduce the need for freshwater, the company is setting up a process whereby neighboring wastewater is treated in addition to their own, using the resulting clean water in their process. The impact of the investment thus touches upon freshwater use, waste (water) discharged, and chemical usage.
Apart from manufacturing cotton, fibers, fabrics and apparel, Pratibha Syntex is also engaged in social initiatives to generate employment for women in rural communities. They are actively promoting women empowerment and diversity with the aim to increase the number of women in supervisory roles and others engaging directly with senior management to understand and become involved in the entire business.