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SU.RE, British Council partner to promote sustainability in fashion

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SU.RE (Sustainable Resolution), a ground-breaking initiative by Reliance Brands, United Nations India, ministry of textiles, the government of India and the Clothing Manufacturers Association of India has partnered with the British Council to reinforce sustainability within India’s apparel sector. This strategic collaboration not only empowers SU.RE signatories to transform into sustainable brands but also serves as a conduit for collaboration with like-minded partners in the UK, Denmark and beyond.

SU.RE, a sustainable initiative by Reliance Brands, UN India, and others, partners with the British Council to promote sustainability in India’s apparel sector.
It aims to guide signatories toward sustainability through mentorship, actionable plans, and addressing challenges.
The project includes phases like a UK study tour and a leadership roundtable.

SU.RE was launched in 2019 as the Indian apparel industry’s largest voluntary commitment to sustainability. It’s the first Indian industry-led initiative with 16 of the largest brands as signatories. The signatories embarked on a journey of sustainable transition towards ground-breaking impact on the domestic fashion market. They entered a SU.RE pact and pledged to move to sustainable supply chains by 2030.

Taking this initiative a notch higher, the partners of SU.RE have announced a new project comprising three comprehensive phases from May to October 2024. The project aims to guide and support participating signatories on their sustainability journey through mentorship sessions, development of actionable plans and addressing challenges such as consumer perception and stakeholder alignment.

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

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.

“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,” Rahul Mehta, chief mentor, CMAI, said.

“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

“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,” Shombi Sharp, UN resident coordinator in India, said.

“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 the 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,” added Sharp.

“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 the British Council to further these efforts,” Jaspreet Chandok, group vice president Reliance Brands Ltd, said.

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

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