Teejay first in industry to develop green fabric

Thursday, 5 January 2017 00:36 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

dft-3-8From left: Samadhi Weerakoon - DGM, Corp Com and CSR, Teejay and Rodney Arland - Chief Operating Officer, Marketing and Business Development, Teejay, receiving the green certificate from Sanith de Silva Wijeyeratne, CEO of the Carbon Consulting Company, Dr. Sampath Wahala, Senior Technical Advisor and Nick Bollons, Consultant - CCC



Teejay, South Asia’s leading fabric manufacturer, has taken the lead in producing green fabric for some of their key customers.  

The company, which was amongst the 2016 Forbes list of Asia’s Top 200 Companies under a Billion US Dollars, announced its new identity last month and the sustainability initiative is one of the long-term goals under Teejay’s new direction.

This green initiative is an initial step by Teejay, which wants to drive the sustainability agenda in all aspects of its business. The company has entered into a partnership with The Carbon Consulting Company (CCC) to calculate the product carbon footprint of a selected range of their fabrics. CCC, which has calculated the emissions of a selected range of Teejay’s fabric, has been able to completely offset the carbon emissions associated with their production through their partner, Natural Capital Partners (NCP), UK, the world’s best offset retailer for six years running.

For the present, Teejay has brought together one of the leading apparel groups in the Island and their client UK’s Marks & Spencer (M&S) to quantify, measure and offset carbon emissions associated with a garment produced using a Carbon Neutral® fabric from Teejay’s Spring/Summer 2017 collection. 

Employing both local expertise and international standards, Teejay and M&S are working together to refine the calculations and aim to complete the work in time for upcoming product lines for their spring/summer 2017 season.

Teejay’s COO for Marketing Rodney Arland says: “Sustainability is a key pillar on which we build our strategy and this revolutionary new product is yet another demonstration of our leadership in this arena. We are proud to work with these global partners to make the world a greener place.”

Having already developed an outline carbon footprint for one of its garments - including the fabric and raw materials, production and transportation process, i.e. to the end of Teejay’s’ responsibility in the supply chain (called a Cradle to Gate Assessment) - Teejay is now working with CCC and M&S to extend this initiative to encompass the retail, consumer use and disposal phase of the garment, otherwise known as a Full Life Cycle Assessment. 

Teejay has already secured through CCC, a sizable stock of carbon credits from NCP, and this stock of credits will then be retired against the production runs of the garment.   

CCC CEO Sanith de Silva Wijeyeratne says that the steps taken by Teejay to create a Carbon Neutral® product are creditable. “This is the first time such a product is being developed in this region and all credit goes to the Teejay team for conceptualising it and the level of coordination they have managed to achieve,” he said.  

Rodney Arland commended CCC for their support and expertise which helped them create the product sooner than expected. CCC, which has a team of qualified professionals with global expertise, has received several accolades for their outstanding work in the field.   Their work is guided by Senior External Technical Advisor Dr. Sampath Wahala from the Sabaragamuwa University, a highly-reputed environmental and sustainability professional

The COO Marketing for Teejay says the next phase of the project is to work more closely with M&S to better understand and calculate the retail, distribution and consumer use and disposal phases of the garment (i.e. domestic washing and recycling patterns). 

Over the next months the partners will liaise closely with M&S to ensure that the balance calculations are carried out in a manner that is in line with the brand’s sustainability standards. He added that plans have already been drawn up to work with a leading US retailer in the new year.

Currently, Teejay is in talks with a number of top international brands that have expressed interest in the product in order to reach their long-term goal of driving the green initiative across their supply chain. CCC will work with them through Teejay to calculate emissions up to the production of the garment, covering the end use state i.e. the ultimate user of the product.