Textile and Garment Industry is facing new challenges

The green transformation in the Textile and Garment (T&G) sector with the participation of hundreds of brands in the world has placed Vietnam's T&G Industry on new challenges. Accordingly, in order to maintain the export turnover growth rate, enterprises must meet the requirements of origin and at the same time prove their social responsibility to the community. Ms. Nguyen Thi Tuyet Mai, Chief Representative of Vietnam Textile and Apparel Association (VITAS) in Ho Chi Minh City, said that by the end of November 2016, T&G export turnover reached 27.8 billion USD, up by 17.4% compared to the same period in 2017. By the end of 2018, the target of USD 30 billion export turnover of the textile industry will be achieved.

The time for customs clearance has also been shortened, which has created a positive impact for businesses to speed up the ability to meet orders of partners. Export turnover also increased strongly.

However, along with the advantages achieved, in the coming time, Vietnam T&G industry is forecasted to face two major challenges. The free trade agreements (FTAs) that Vietnam has signed all have environmental barriers, sustainable development and green development. This requires businesses to make efforts to improve not only product quality but also the production process.

In cases that enterprises cause environmental pollution in the production process, do not apply solutions to reduce waste, save energy and natural resources ... there is a risk of stopping receiving orders or being rejected, especially with orders from reputable garment brands in the world.

In fact, the 148 major garment brands in the world have participated in the initiative to use clean energy and started to deploy in 2022. Regarding objective factors, changes in the supply of water in the upper Mekong region also are strongly affecting the demand for water resources for the textile industry. On a broader scale, more than 50% of power plants in Vietnam are using coal. And in the context of Vietnam's Government committed to cutting 8% of emissions which are causing environmental pollution, the green development solution is the only solution for businesses to reduce energy security pressure and develop sustainably.

On the other hand, if manufacturers require to be supplied and used clean energy, it will also create certain impacts in forcing enterprises to supply energy to produce clean energy. However, in order to improve the production status of modern Vietnamese textile and garment enterprises, it is necessary to have support from the Government and financial institutions, textile and garment brands. Accordingly, the Government needs to have clear and transparent regulations on investment technology criteria for the textile and garment industry, environmental standards must be appropriate and approach the global standards.

Not only that, the relevant authorities, associations need to promote working with financial institutions to build policies to support investment capital and technology for domestic enterprises. At the same time, organizations must grasp information and "green" standards from major brands in the world quickly and promptly so that domestic enterprises can orient their development and investment strategies for textile products. . From a management perspective, Ms. Ngo Thu Hang, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment said that the environmental policy mechanism has been quite complete and met the global criteria. For example, to discharge wastewater from textile activities into the environment, enterprises must handle 10 parameters such as COD, BOD, TSS ...

Enterprises can also choose to invest in wastewater treatment systems that meet the required standards before being discharged into the environment. Or the enterprises handle primary wastewater treatment first and then transfer to the investor of the industrial park to process the next secondary step, ensuring the standard before discharging it into the environment.
Regarding financial support policies, enterprises investing in waste treatment and reuse systems will be supported with preferential loans up to 80% of investment costs. Enterprises can also access support funds from the Environmental Protection Fund ... Consistent with the above point of view, representatives of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) said that there are many projects that provide financial support to Textile and Garment enterprises to innovate technology and reduce the environmental pollution impact. Specially, the support from sponsors and brands focuses on level 1 and 2 enterprises with large investment scale, foreign invested enterprises (FIEs). The rest is domestic enterprises need to be proactive and quick to access information as well as financial support to timely change, meeting new requirements in the trend of production and consumption of Textile and Garment sector.