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SU.RE and the British Council unite to launch a groundbreaking project promoting sustainability in fashion

SU.RE (Sustainable Resolution), a pioneering initiative by Reliance Brands, United Nations India, Ministry of Textiles, and the Clothing Manufacturers Association of India, partners with the British Council to enhance sustainability in India’s apparel sector. This strategic alliance empowers SU.RE signatories to transform into sustainable brands and fosters collaboration with like-minded partners in the UK, Denmark, and beyond.

Launched in 2019, SU.RE is the Indian apparel industry’s largest voluntary commitment to sustainability, marking the first industry-led initiative of its kind in India. Sixteen of the country’s largest brands have signed on, embarking on a transformative journey towards a sustainable fashion market. By entering the SU.RE pact, these brands pledged to transition to sustainable supply chains by 2030.

Elevating this initiative, SU.RE partners announced a new project consisting of three comprehensive phases from May to October 2024. This project aims to guide and support participating signatories through mentorship sessions, the development of actionable plans, and addressing challenges such as consumer perception and stakeholder alignment.

In the first phase, which took place this month, SU.RE delegates participated in a UK Study Tour. They connected with designer Christopher Raeburn, Harriet Vocking, CEO of Eco-Age, the British Fashion Council’s Institute of Positive Fashion, and grantees from New Landscapes—a grant scheme led by the University of the Arts London’s Fashion, Textiles and Technology Institute (FTTI), in partnership with the British Council.

The delegates also participated in a leadership roundtable, “Building Circular Systems for India”, co-hosted by SU.RE with Global Fashion Agenda and supported by the British Council at the Global Fashion Summit in Copenhagen, Denmark. This closed-door, executive-level roundtable convened executive and investor-level participants to engage with and align an actionable roadmap, while acknowledging India’s role within the global shift towards a more sustainable fashion sector.

This concerted effort not only empowered SU.RE signatories to evolve into more sustainable brands but also served as a gateway to collaborate with fresh innovators.

Rahul Mehta, Chief Mentor, CMAI, said: “International recognition for SU.RE to be included as a Partner with the UN, British Council and Global Fashion Summit is an important milestone in SU.RE’s progress towards driving the Sustainability Movement in India. I am sure the delegates will come back enriched with the latest developments and innovations in the field of sustainability, circularity, and other related issues, during their interactions with leading practitioners in this space across the world. CMAI is proud of its role in the creation of SU.RE and looks forward to driving this crucial movement in the coming years.”

“We’re delighted to partner with SU.RE on this pioneering initiative. It marks a significant stride in fostering sustainable practices within the Indian fashion industry. This project presents a unique opportunity for fashion practitioners to forge international connections, fostering a dynamic exchange of knowledge and a collaborative spirit. Through the UK study tour, delegates contributed their expertise and engaged with emerging practitioners working in the field of circular fashion. The Global Fashion Summit roundtable offered invaluable insights into global best practices and will contribute to the development of an actionable roadmap towards a transformative shift in India’s apparel sector. We’ve consistently championed cultural exchange, fostered creative expression, and built robust, sustainable networks that transcend borders. We believe this project has the potential to be truly transformative, catalysing a sustainable transition and paving the way for a more enduring future in fashion.” said Ruchira Das, Director Arts India, British Council

Shombi Sharp, UN Resident Coordinator in India, said: “In the words of the UN Secretary-General, “making peace with nature is the defining task of the 21st century”. Yet we know that worldwide, as with many industries, textiles and fashion largely follow models that will not deliver that peace. Sustainable fashion therefore isn’t just about what we wear; it’s a statement of our values, echoing our respect for nature and future generations.

The Indian fashion industry presents a unique opportunity to combine innovation with circularity to achieve large scale impact. Project SU.RE is an initiative aimed at exactly that, environmental and social sustainability in one of the world’s largest and most creative fashion industries. The partnership with the British Council, and this roundtable, will further facilitate mentorship and exposure to the latest international best practices from UK and globally. The United Nations in India is proud to be a partner in this journey putting circularity at the heart of apparel brands in India.”

Jaspreet Chandok, Group Vice President Reliance Brands Ltd, said: “At Reliance Brands, we are committed to driving sustainable practices across the fashion industry. The SU.RE project reflects our dedication to reducing the environmental impact of fashion production and fostering innovation in this space. We are excited to partner with British Council to further these efforts.”

The project’s timeline, spanning from May to October 2024, commits to achieve sustainable outcomes by fostering dialogue, knowledge exchange, and actionable strategies.

SU.RE Delegation comprised the below:

  1. Ashish Katariya – CEO, Peppermint
  2. Darshana Gajare – Head of Sustainability, Reliance Brands Limited
  3. Naveen Sainani – Jt. Hon. Gen. Secretary & Chairman, APEX Awards Sub Committee (CMAI)
  4. Radhika Kaul Batra – Chief of Staff, UN Resident Coordinator’s Office
  5. Ruchira Das – Director-Arts India, British Council
  6. Sanjay Rastogi – Head – New Business, ESG & Leadership, TATA Trent
  7. Sanjay Navindrachandra Vakharia – CEO, Spykar

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