ABFRL and CAIF join hands to launch Innovation Challenge

The Innovation Challenge seeks non pollutant alternatives and systems to cut down single-use plastic

by Shrutee K/DNS

Mumbai, November 29, 2019: Aditya Birla Fashion and Retail (ABFRL) has launched a first-of-its-kind open Innovation Challenge with Circular Apparel Innovation Factory (CAIF) to spearhead a change in packaging and find innovative alternatives to plastics.

According to an estimate by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), India generates almost 26,000 tonnes of plastic waste daily. Approximately 43% of manufactured plastic in the country is used for packaging purposes, most of which is single-use plastic waste, As the apparel and textile industry is struggling with plastics waste, the Innovation Challenge aims to find solutions to one of the industry’s biggest challenges.  

At ABFRL, we aim to use 100% sustainable packaging material by eliminating any type of pollutant. Going forward, we will be exploring innovative packaging solutions to reduce our carbon footprint. We are pleased to partner with CAIF for this initiative. We endeavor to lead industry practices around sustainability and platforms such as these enable us to bring forth ideas and innovations that accelerate the adoption of sustainable fashion” said Mr Ashish Dikshit, Managing Director, ABFRL at the launch.

He further added “We are hoping to find solutions to one of the industry’s biggest challenge of reducing usage of single use plastic packaging. We are confident that the Innovation Challenge initiative will help the industry to transition to circular business practices”.

Dr. Naresh Tyagi, Chief Sustainability Officer, ABFRL, “In 2013, ABFRL began a unique Sustainability Program called ‘ReEarth’ which addresses the most significant economic, environmental and social issues that humanity faces today and since then we have done pioneering work in sustainable and circular fashion. This initiative is another step forward in that journey. We are delighted to partner with CAIF and are certain that innovators and startups present here will be able to leverage this opportunity to come up with eco-friendly alternatives to plastic”.

Circular Apparel Innovation Factory is an industry-led initiative with Aditya Birla Fashion and Retail and The DOEN Foundation as anchor partners and driven by Intellecap with vision to make India’s textile and apparel industry circular through building the capabilities and ecosystem needed for this transition. Open innovation challenges are one way by which CAIF addresses the discovery gap and helps its industry members to identify opportunities for change and possible partners for collaboration to make circular business practices a reality.  

Vikas Bali, CEO Intellecap, “We know that ‘business as usual’ will not help solving the size of the problem India and the world is witnessing with regard to plastic waste. We are proud to help ABFRL as an industry pioneer in its journey to finding ways to rethink current approaches to packaging”.

CAIF Conclave, a first of its kind industry conclave was hosted by Intellecap in partnership with ABFRL and The DOEN Foundation. The conclave focused on the need for change towards circular business practices and showcasing some of the industry’s most forward-thinking efforts towards a circular economy.

The conclave, which happened as part of this year’s Sankalp Forum saw participation of 300+ industry participants and some of the country’s most innovative circular fashion startups. 

Circular Apparel Innovation Factory (CAIF): Intellecap, supported by the DOEN Foundation, and with Aditya Birla Fashion & Retail Ltd. as an Anchor partner launched the Circular Apparel Innovation Factory (CAIF) in 2018, an industry-led platform with the vision to build a circular apparel and textile industry. Our mission is to build capabilities and the ecosystem needed for a transition towards circular textile and apparel industry in  South Asia. And we leverage the Aavishkaar approach of creating impact at scale through providing access to capital, knowledge, and networks throughout an innovator’s journey. We do this as:

• An innovation engine: We identify opportunities, discover and test new solutions, and broker high impact partnerships for brands and value chain stakeholders
• Facilitators of action: We drive experimentation and action on the ground through pilots, prototypes, and the creation of test beds with a view to scale new solutions & innovations
• Market builders: We remove growth barriers such as access to business support or capital and catalyze the creation of an enabling environment for scaling up circular innovations
• Industry conveners: We accelerate the speed of innovation, create opportunities for collaboration, engage in policy dialogue and shape the conversation around circular apparel and textile  www.circularapparel.co


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