A new phase of the European Union’s SMART Textile and Garments project has kick-started, focusing on environmental sustainability within Myanmar’s apparel manufacturing industry.
With backing from H&M, Bestseller and C&A, organisers of the project will work closely with hundreds of factories in the Southeast Asian nation as it conducts on-site assessments and training for workers to understand workplace communication, health and safety, chemicals, waste management and energy.
“The European Union’s unwavering commitment and support plays an important role in improving decent work conditions and responsible business practices in Myanmar,” said Ministry of Labour, immigration and population permanent secretary U Myo Aung.
Since 2013, the SMART Myanmar project has looked to improve social and environmental sustainability within the country’s supply chains through rigorous assessment and improvements.
“SMART Myanmar has proven to be an extremely relevant programme in accompanying Myanmar’s apparel industry’s shift to more sustainable practices,” said Pedro Campo Llopis, deputy head of development cooperation of the EU Delegation to Myanmar.
Now entering its third phase, the project will continue work to this end and has vowed to expand training and capacity building programmes across Myanmar’s rapidly growing textile industry. It’s said that during this phase, organisers will work across Yangon, Mandalay, Bago and Pathein, amongst other regions.
Myanmar reportedly registered garment exports of US$4 billion between fiscal 2018/19.
“The project’s aim to is to further strengthen sustainable production practices and responsible supply chains in Myanmar and Europe,” said Jacob Clere, team leader of SMART Myanmar.
Campo Llopis concluded: “Europe is one of the world’s largest consumer markets and European consumers pay a lot of attention to where the products they buy come from and how they are produced. Sustainable production and respect for international labour standards are therefore important topics in the EU’s trade relations with Myanmar and this makes our cooperation with the Myanmar garment sector through the SMART Textiles and Garments programme so important.”
Courtesy: Eco Textile News
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