YnFx Sustainable Conversations

Neha Jhunjhunwala – Director at Sarla Performance Fibers

Our recent interaction with Neha Jhunjhunwala- Director at Sarla Performance Fibers, discusses the company’s goal, the products they offer, the company’s future plan, and the importance of sustainability in performance fiber.

Sarla Performance Fibers implementing concept of sustainability in performance fibers

2022-07-25 12:05:25 – India

Sarla Performance Fibers Ltd (SPFL) is an ISO 9001:2015 certified firm that has successfully established an international presence for Indian high-performance yarns.

The company has evolved from a commodity yarn manufacturer to a manufacturer of specialized and higher value-added yarns, specifically manufactured as per the demands of its global customers.

SPFL manufacturers and export polyester and nylon textured yarns, twisted and colored yarns, covered yarns, high tenacity yarns, and sewing thread from numerous world-class production sites present in India.

Our recent interaction with Neha Jhunjhunwala- Director at Sarla Performance Fibers, discusses the company’s goal, the products they offer, the company’s future plan, and the importance of sustainability in performance fiber.

YnFx: What is the main goal of the company?

Jhunjhunwala: The goal of the company would be to be the preferred yarn partner to our customers and to grow with them.

Sarla Performance Fibers Limited belongs right at the beginning of the textile value chain as we are engaged in the manufacturing & marketing of Nylon & polyester yarns & threads.

We chose a few key end applications like socks, narrow fabrics, hosiery, athleisure, specialized threads, etc. and established ourselves as a manufacturer of specialized and higher value-added yarns for these niche sectors.

With a careful hand-picked & pruned product portfolio, we have established a global footprint to service customers better in their respective regions.

YnFx: What are the various products that Sarla Fibers offers?

Jhunjhunwala: We mainly manufacture Nylon & Polyester filament yarns and work on innovating value-added products to make our customers more differentiated than their competition.

Our broad range of products can be categorized as Polyester, Nylon, Covered Yarns, High tenacity yarns, and more.

For example – Socks made out of Sarla yarn would use 5 of our key products. Our Nylons are widely used for their softness. We also do a high stretch polyester. We have covered yarn for which we have the largest capacity in India.

Let me explain it this way.... Sarla’s yarns & threads form a deep and invisible part of our everyday lives.

You start your day you wear a T-shirt.

You wear your socks & shoes.

You slide into your car seat.

In the evening, you put on your knee-length socks for a game of football

You dive into your mattress at the end of a long day

You utilize a bandage (medical or crepe).

You use a microfibre mop to clean your house

All these products use one of the Sarla yarns.

YnFx: Being a leading manufacturer of performance fibers, how do you think sustainability is important in performance fiber?

Jhunjhunwala: It's important, as climate change and scarcity of tap-able water is no longer just theory. 

Today there is a lot of talk about “circular fashion” and recycled products are also gaining more demand. Upcycling old clothes, using recycled materials, and repurposing outdated, unworn garments all help to make important positive contributions. End customer is more than aware, and is willing to partner and pay more for brands that make this conscious decision.

And it all starts with the Yarn! That's the building block. None of the methods of picking up the pace are possible if the yarn is not made of recycled elements, strong to last long, or suitable for Upcycling or recycling. The quality of the yarn goes a long way in ensuring the practicality of the efforts.

We understand this and have developed products that help the entire value chain provide sustainable products reducing water usage and the carbon footprint of the leading brands where our products are used.

For example, as you know traditional dyeing and wet processing activities cause about 20 percent of global water pollution. Dope-dyed yarn is one of the solutions to reducing environmental pollution and wastewater discharge in the textile industry.

Sarla has adopted and is conscious of contributing to the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations. We aim to support and contribute to the achievement of these global goals, especially SG 12- Responsible consumption and production.

YnFx: What solution does the company offer to ensure sustainability?

Jhunjhunwala: As a word, sustainability has two meanings - one related to the environment and the other is more related to maintaining and growing something. For us, we do focus on environmental sustainability, but we also focus on the sustainable growth of our organization.

For example at Sarla, we do not have any long-term debt for our textiles business, growing it with our earnings and emerging as a net-cash company in a capital-intensive business instead.

This ensures we truly serve and contribute to the end consumer, market, industry, and our customers as we have the freedom to follow our conscience.

On the product front at Sarla, we decided to move towards Dope Dyed Nylon Yarn. Our eco-friendly range focuses on creating textiles with a low environmental impact.

We have developed a process to use Recyclable yarns and Polymer waste from production to make these products. However, they possess the same quality and properties as virgin nylon to a level you wouldn't know the difference easily. Also, in the production of dope-dyed yarn, coloring is done at the spinning stage itself, further reducing dyeing-related pollution.

In numbers, our dope dyed product range -

● saves 50- 80% energy

● reduces 50-70% carbon emission

● reduces 30-80% chemical dyestuff consumption

● save 50~80% water and reduce the waste

We also provide Recycled Nylon and Polyester yarns for a very long time which are being used by some well-known brands around the world.

YnFx: How does a sustainable business model help in Sarla's environment commitment?

Jhunjhunwala: While focusing on developing sustainable products, I believe it is important to infuse sustainability in the business model first. As then you don't resort to taking “shortcuts” but totally committed to the cause. For Sarla, we are embedding sustainability in all aspects of our business.

The company’s environmental commitment has been structured around the 4 R’s - Renewable, Reduction, Replacement, and Recycling.

In the area of renewable energy, we were ahead of the curve. In 2009, we installed our first 1.25 MW wind turbine generator(WTG) in Gujarat, a second WTG (Maharashtra) in 2011, and successive investments in subsequent years. By the close of FY2020-21, the company had nine turbines aggregating 14.75MW of wind power generation, which accounted for 35% of the company’s power appetite. We installed solar panels on the rooftops of all our plants to generate solar energy.

We replaced conventional lighting in our manufacturing facilities with energy-efficient lamps; we replaced all motors with more energy-efficient alternatives. We invested in an eco-friendly steam boiler.

We recycle manufacturing process waste (polyester and nylon), damaged plastic products (cones and tubes), and cardboard cartons.

We reuse allied material for SPFL’s internal processes by transfers between our various plants in Silvassa and Vapi.

We reduced water and energy consumption through investments in modern machines. We treat the process water used in dyeing before returning it safely to the environment.

No matter what products you buy from Sarla, you are going to contribute in some way to preserving the environment.

For us, sustainability doesn’t just mean products, it's a way of being!

YnFx: What are the future plans of the company?

Jhunjhunwala: We definitely see that more brands will need to include recycled or eco-friendly yarn in their products. The end consumer is looking for it, and more so our earth needs it. As a business, we want to contribute to awareness and be a part of the change.

We are committed to investing in R&D for innovation alongside consumer-facing brands. For this, we are open to partnering with teams at these brands to develop yarns for any application in fashion, functional, medical, or industrial areas right from the drawing board.

Apart from this, we are increasing our focus on our 4 R’s of renewable, reduction, replacement, and recycling. Our investment in more eco-friendly manufacturing processes will see growth in all these areas.

Overall, we are focusing on more aggressive growth and want to see a large share come from sustainable products.

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