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Speaker(s): Rahul Hiremath

Recorded on 5 July 2011 at R505, Lionel Robbins Building

The textile sector in India plays an important role in the country's economy, providing employment to a significant population in rural and semi-rural areas. It generates sizeable foreign exchange for the country, and is a repository of the cultural heritage of the nation. The sector, however, remains largely unorganized and heavily dependent on market fluctuations. The mass production of textile goods without any effects on the environment seems utopian in these days as the available manufacturing technologies consume many different chemicals as well as high quantities of water and energy. To explain the textile sector and its impact, the seminar will consider the findings of a study of Solapur City in the state of Maharashtra. Solapur, with a population of 907,400 (2003) is the 37th most populous city in the country and eighth in the State of Maharashtra, India. There are about 25,000 power looms employing about 100,000 workers.

The seminar will present key concepts and findings regarding the need for sustainability in the textile industry in Solapur City. The research provides an overview of the textile and clothing industry in a city where it is one of the biggest sectors for employment and export. The current problems exist in the city because effluent disposal facilities of these industries are very poor in turn creating environmental, health and social problems. To counteract this effect, the study reviewed the textile industry's approach adopted in the city and sought to evaluate models and methods for measuring the impact of the textile industry on the environment, human health, biodiversity and climate. The research emphasises the need for the development of an integrated sustainable model of networking for climate change mitigation using adaptation approaches related to environment, health, safety and cleaner production which can assist in building a local knowledge base to sustain the process.

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