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TaFF launches sustainability programme to redefine fashion

The Textile and Fashion Federation (TaFF) launched its fashion sustainability programme on 30 November 2021.

Minister of State for Trade and Industry Low Yen Ling was the guest of honour.

This follows the roll out of the Enterprise Sustainability Programme (ESP) by Enterprise Singapore on 1 October 2021, which supports enterprises in their sustainability initiatives and helps them capture new opportunities in the green economy.

The fashion sustainability programme aims to complement the work of ESP. As part of the programme, TaFF will develop toolkits for enterprises to adopt, introduce talent capability development programmes and will work with the industry to identify common pain points and possible solutions to explore and capitalise on opportunities in the green economy. It will also work with communities to build awareness and capabilities in sustainability.

This is a timely programmme, as in Singapore alone fashion and textile products account for 137,000 tonnes of waste of which  merely 4% is being recycled.

“Fashion is more than just apparels and accessories as technology is more than just notebooks and cell phones.  We need to redefine the scope of the fashion industry to include its entire value chain.  As such, TaFF will work towards building vibrant ecosystems for sustainability that span across the broad upstream and downstream value chain, from materials, manufacturing and brands to technology and innovative solutions,” said Mr. Wilson Teo, President, TaFF.

As the strategic partner of the programme, RGE Pte Ltd has committed to S$2.75 million funding to support sustainability initiatives over three years. Mr. Tey Wei Lin, President, RGE, said: “We are glad to be TaFF’s strategic partner for this programme to promote public awareness and industry collaboration towards sustainable fashion in Singapore and the region. Choice of materials that are natural, biodegradable, responsibly produced and can be easily recycled at the end-of-use are critical considerations for fashion to be sustainable. As the world’s largest producer of viscose fibre, we look forward to lending our expertise as an upstream textile raw material supplier in support of the programme.”

TaFF’s patron, Senior Minister of State Ms Sim Ann, was also present at the launch along with the programme’s Steering Committee. The committee is represented by different stakeholders of the value chain reflecting its ambition to be more inclusive in its sustainable fashion efforts.

“Our message to the industry is that sustainability in fashion is about ecosystems and collaborations. With this committee, we aim to bring about a comprehensive perspective to the direction of our programme,” said Ms. Nicole van der Elst, Chairperson of the programme’s Steering Committee.

During the launch, TaFF featured eight organisations that exemplify innovative sustainability brand stories, materials and technology solutions. Among them are TaFF’s incubation program (TBFI) graduates, BHuman and Mycotech.

“Industry partnerships are pertinent to uplift capabilities of enterprises. We are very encouraged by TaFF’s efforts to
drive sustainability in the textile and fashion sector as trade associations and chambers play a key role in strengthening
sector-specific capabilities,” said Mr. Alan Yeo, Director of Retail & Design at Enterprise Singapore. “Collaborations with corporate partners such as RGE Group will also help accelerate this process. This is a good start and we hope to eventually see more companies across all sectors start to integrate sustainability alongside their growth.”

Sustainability Pledge by Corporates and Individuals

Launched earlier this month, a very first initiative of the programme was the sustainability pledge.

The objective of the pledge is to encourage both corporates and individuals to take a small step towards a unified effort in this programme.

“At TaFF, we recognise that no single individual or organisation can solve the issues of fashion sustainability alone.
Therefore, we present corporates and the consumers an opportunity to collaborate and volunteer to work together to make an impact,”  said Ms. Carolyn Poon, TaFF Director for Sustainability.

Since launch, nearly 500 have pledged in favour of the cause.

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