FSC Asia Pacific recently ran a series of three webinars across the region in conjunction with Lenzing AG, the global cellulose and fibre producer, focusing on bringing sustainability to the textiles industry.
These webinars presented another opportunity for Lenzing and FSC to work together to deepen understanding of the value and benefits provided by the FSC-certified forests where these garment products originate. This time, we spoke to audiences of stakeholders along textile value chains in the Asia Pacific region, including India, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nepal and even Mauritius.
The subjects covered in the series were as wide as the geographical area they spanned. Anchored around the theme of exploring the positive impact of wood-based cellulosic fibres produced for FSC’s chain of custody certification, each webinar session discussed the relationship between FSC and Lenzing, the benefits and value of FSC certification, and an explanation of FSC chain of custody certification, followed by a Q&A session.
Of particular interest to the participants was the FSC MIX label for Garments portion of the webinar, explaining how FSC-certified material from responsibly managed forests can be mixed with other non-forest-based fibres to create responsibly sourced textiles.
Over 225 participants attended the webinars: spinners, weavers, garment manufacturers, and international fashion brands joined business partners of Lenzing, retailers and other stakeholders along the value chain. The participants at all three webinars were very active, raising important questions and taking part in a useful poll, which explored how often FSC orders were received, what kind of information they would like to receive from FSC, and the reasons why they might be interested in FSC certification – as appears in the example below.
The presentations not only helped the participants understand the FSC certification system and the value of sustainable forest management, but made it abundantly clear to businesses that FSC-certified cellulosic fibre can help the textile industry take care of the world’s forests, while combatting climate change and deforestation. FSC’s Head of Market Development for Asia Pacific, Jayco Fung, said, “I am grateful to learn from the poll that businesses are keen to collaborate with us to drive FSC solutions and use FSC trademarks to educate businesses and consumers about their FSC-certified and labelled garment products that come from responsibly managed forests.”
Though the webinar was conducted virtually, the discussions were lively and the participants in each session enjoyed themselves. Feedback was good, with everyone looking forward to further sessions.
“The joint webinar series with FSC Asia Pacific team for our customers in South Asia and Thailand markets were a great success. The high number of participants and the inspiring discussions reflect the need to educate industry partners on sustainable forestry. We appreciate the support of the FSC team in this direction.”
Avinash Mane, Commercial Head – South Asia and Thailand, Lenzing Fibers
“It was very helpful to learn how the FSC COC standard was adapted to support the uptake of responsibly sourced forest-based fibres. Now I understand how the FSC label can be applied to garments we make, and I can better advise my customers.”
Matthew Guenther, Senior Manager Environmental Sustainability, TAL Apparel Ltd.
Building on this success, FSC hopes to work with Lenzing and other brands to help make their forest-based textiles supply chain even more responsible and ethical. For more information on what FSC is doing to promote sustainable fashion through certified forest-based textiles, follow this link.