ILLIES Vietnam participation in the textile waste forum
The textile industry is responsible for a considerable waste generation and environmental impact. Estimates suggest that it produces over 92 million tons of textile waste globally. Circular business models have started to gain momentum in the industry now. Christoph Peters, General Director of ILLIES Vietnam, recently participated The Textile Waste Opportunities for Circular Textiles, Garments and Footwear event held in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, shared his insights and experience in various aspects of recycling technologies and best practices in waste collection and sorting.
The event was organized by GFA (Global Fashion Agenda) and GIZ (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit) supported by Responsible Business Hub at the EuroCham, and focused on achieving a long-term, scalable, and just transition to a circular fashion industry, with officials from the Ministry of Environment and about 50 representatives of international organizations in attendance.
There are 767 garment factories and 131 footwear factories in Cambodia. Fabric waste generated by garment factories is estimated at around 136,000 tons annually. However, complex fabric compositions make the waste sorting process difficult. GIZ conducted a survey amongst 38 factories to identify waste generation and composition. Results of this survey showed waste composition of garment factories as 21% cotton (100%), 16% cotton based blends, 35% are 100% polyester or polyester based blends, and the rest is other cellulosic and synthetic blends.
Addressing the panel interview at the event, Christoph Peters highlighted the increasing demand for feedstock in Vietnam and the economic interest of investors in exploring this area. He mentioned the presence of informal waste collectors and consultants in Vietnam and the differences in textile waste management compared to Cambodia. He added that Cambodia, being primarily involved in apparel manufacturing rather than textile production, may face some limitations in exploring recycling opportunities. He suggested Vietnam as a potential partner to Cambodia for recycling, considering the convenience of logistics in next steps.
Pak Sokharavuth, environment ministry secretary of state, who also attended the conference, said “The government is committed to working with its partners and looks forward to establishing a successful textile waste management system.”