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HANOI – The Vietnam Textile and Apparel Association (VITAS), the Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC) and Hong Kong-based garment firm TAL Group have announced plans to introduce the Higg Index into the country’s textile and garment industry in a bid to develop a sustainable brand for Vietnamese textiles. Higg is an online self-assessment tool developed by the SAC which standardises measurements for environmental and social impacts in the textile, footwear and fashion industries. The self reporting tool is used globally by more than 8,000 manufacturers and 150 brands.

Research by VITAS shows that almost 70 per cent of the businesses in Vietnam are familiar with the Higg Index, but only 20.8 per cent of them have tried it.

At a press conference staged by VITAS, SAC CEO Jason Kibbey said Higg is a necessary benchmark to provide Vietnamese manufacturers with credibility with enterprises buying raw materials for production and selling products to the United States and EU countries.

News that Vietnam is collaborating with the SAC comes closely on the back of reports that the garment and textile industry in Vietnam has revised its export target to US$35bn for the year 2018, with the new target having been set owing to a significant increase in orders from foreign companies.

While the garment and textile industry exports had generated US$31.2bn in 2017, the initial target set for 2018 was US$34bn.

However, Truong Van Cam, vice president, Vietnam Textile and Apparel Association has suggested many local companies have alread received major orders for he third quarter of the year and are in talks to get contracts for the entire 2019, boosting total output potential.

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