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The Manufacturing Perspective | 2023

The Manufacturing Perspective | 2023

Insights from Speaking Engagements in 2023 

At Shahi, we believe in sharing our experiences and learning with all the stakeholders in the fashion industry and beyond. This is an ongoing post to share insights from our speaking engagements in 2023. Read insights from previous years’ engagements: 2022, 2021.

04 December | Sustainable Apparel Coalition’s Manufacturer’s Forum: Bangalore

Gauri Sharma, Assistant General Manager, Communications & Sustainability Innovation, represented Shahi at the SAC’s Coalition Manufacturer’s Forum in Bangalore to present the key takeaways from ‘An Apparel Supplier’s Guide: Key Sustainability Legislations in the EU, US, and UK’ a groundbreaking resource on sustainability-related legislation in the apparel industry. 

Gauri shares how Shahi partnered with a group of suppliers, including Epic Group, Norlanka, Simple Approach, along with Transformers Foundation and Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, to develop this comprehensive resource to build an understanding of policies initiated in the global north and how they often have a ripple effect down the supply chain in regions outside the jurisdiction of the policy.

From increased reporting requirements to supply chain traceability, the report researched and written by The Remedy Project examines key focus areas, potential legal implications, and operational considerations for apparel suppliers & beyond.

01-02 December | Reimagining Textile Waste in India Conference by Fashion For Good 

Gauri Sharma spoke at the ‘Reimagining Textile Waste in India Conference’ held in Delhi on December 1st and 2nd. The event gathered multiple supply chain members to discuss the enablers for a future of circularity, including innovators like Renewcell, with whom Shahi is working actively as the Indian supply chain partner.

The event paved the way for more conversations and projects around textile waste and circularity in India and how we can work together collaboratively in the coming months.

29 November | SAP Concur- Indian Economy Looking Ahead- Crystal Ball Gazing

Pravin Dalal, DGM Environmental Sustainability at Shahi, spoke at SAP Concur- Indian Economy Looking Ahead- Crystal Ball Gazing. He was joined by Vijay Kumar Nagaraju, Deputy General Manager – Environment, Sustainability & ESG, Brigade Enterprises Ltd. The panel, moderated by Hoshie Ghaswalla, CEO of Business World Engage, discussed ‘ROl on Sustainability,’ where Pravin shared insights on the importance of integrating sustainability initiatives into organizational practices. He shares, “Embedding sustainability in organizational practices through a dual approach—top-down and bottom-up—is crucial. Beyond measurable ROI, focus on indirect benefits like a positive reputation, enhanced brand value, and talent retention for enduring organizational value.”

27 October | ‘Future of Work and Skills For Emerging Markets’ by Good Business Lab 

JD. Giri, Director at Shahi, spoke at the ‘Future of Work and Skills For Emerging Markets’ conference hosted by Good Business Lab (GBL), Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL), and 21st Century India Center at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

The panel discussed ‘Soft Skills, Hard Skills, Digital Skills?: Upskilling India’s Workforce’, where he shared insights on upskilling India’s workforce by integrating soft skills with technical prowess to empower workers and improve work culture. He was joined by Raffaella Sadun, Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School, Co-Lead at Digital Reskilling Lab, and Daniel Uribe Villa, Principal of VélezReyes+.

Watch the Webcast: Here

13 October | Chintan Shivir Event hosted by the Ministry of Textiles, Government of India

Harish Ahuja, Managing Director and Chairperson at Shahi, represented the Textile and Apparel Industry at the Chintan Shivir event hosted by the Ministry of Textiles, Government of India.

He painted a comprehensive picture of the textile industry, highlighting the current sector profile and setting ambitious goals, along with a plan of action for the shift in the current ecosystem and policies, technological advancements, and employment. 

07 October | Panel Discussion by the Ministry of Textiles, Government of India

Sanjana Pimoli, Assistant Manager, Communications and Sustainability Innovation, represented Shahi in a World Cotton Day panel discussion on ‘Circularity in the Cotton Value Chain.’ The Ministry of Textiles organized this panel in collaboration with the Cotton Corporation of India Ltd (CCI) and the EU Resource Efficiency Initiative (India).

Sanjana shared Shahi’s comprehensive approach to integrating elements of circularity in our business, particularly concerning cotton sourcing and waste management at different supply chain stages. She also highlighted challenges in scaling innovations and the need for collaboration to ensure that all stakeholders are involved in creating solutions for a just transition for the industry.

26 September | NOMI Network 2023 Summit

Anant Ahuja, Head of Organizational Development, spoke at the Nomi Network 2023 Summit in a panel titled ‘Closing Wealth Gaps: Innovations in Global Supply Chain.’

He discussed Shahi’s journey and how the mission of NOMI Network, centered on empowering women from marginalized backgrounds, aligns with Shahi’s dedication to promoting gender equality and social inclusion. Anant also highlighted the various training programs, employment opportunities, mentorship initiatives, and support Shahi offers to candidates from the NOMI Network, enabling them to navigate workplace challenges and fostering their personal and professional development.

23 August | 16th Edition of the Environment and Energy Conclave by BCCI 

Kritika Chauhan, Assistant Manager, Communication and Sustainability Innovations, participated in a panel on ‘Sustainable approach and circular economy.’

At the 16th Edition of the Environment and Energy Conclave by The Bengal Chamber of Commerce and Industry. She shared, “Circular business models impact environmental sustainability, and collaboration within the supply chain can ensure scalability.”

20-21 July | Apparel Sourcing Week 2023

Anant Ahuja, participated in a panel on  ‘Green Manufacturing: Significance and Strategies for Implementation’ at this year’s Apparel Sourcing Week hosted by Apparel Resources.

During the panel, he shared insights from Shahi’s journey in adopting sustainable practices. He addressed the challenges of implementing these practices, especially the additional costs often associated with them.

Anant also highlighted that sustainability is an exercise in both environmental and social well-being. And how a commitment to evidence-based worker well-being measures results in impactful programs that empower workers and promote a positive impact on the communities in which Shahi operates.

18 July | Women Deliver Conference 2023 

Shahi co-hosted a virtual concurrent session on “Breaking the Glass Ceiling: Growth for Women in Low-Income Work” together with Good Business Lab and the United Nations Foundation at this year’s Women Deliver Conference. In a first, Shahi was represented by a factory worker and presented cross-cutting views from across the value chain, including insights from lived experience, research, on-ground implementation, and policy perspectives.

Kalyani Pandey, Needle Keeper, shared “Women face biases right from home and at work, where they expect us to drop the ball in quality and responsibility. The programs I have been a part of have helped break down different aspects of my life that potentially impact my work. It showed how awareness, communication, time management, and financial planning can help bring about big changes at work and at home.”

Additionally, Chitra Ramdas, General Manager, Organizational Development elaborated “The effort does not stop at training. It is important to close the loop on equality programs with real transitions on the shop floor in both decision-making and remuneration for women who take on more responsibilities on the shop floor. To build a culture of gender equality, organizations need to work on policies and practices coupled with supportive team members and develop leaders as champions.”

10-11 July | YESS Launched in Pakistan and India

Anant Ahuja, Head of Organizational Development, and Amanullah S.P, Assistant General Manager, Spinning, were speakers at the webinar organized by Yarn Ethically and Sustainably Sourced (YESS), supported by Responsible Sourcing Network (RSN). YESS launched its due diligence standard in India and Pakistan this year with successfully conducted mill assessments. Shahi became the first mill in India to undergo this assessment, and the speakers shared Shahi’s positive experience and valuable learnings. 

30 June-1 July | BSL’s Glocal Maneuver Series Powerplay-2

Rajneesh Rai, Senior General Manager of Laboratory & Environmental Sustainability, participated in a panel discussion titled “Good Earth: One Earth-ESG Goals and Beyond” at the Glocal Maneuver Series Powerplay-2 event organized by the Brands Sourcing Leaders Association (BSL). 

This panel brought together industry leaders to delve into the future of sustainability and its impact on businesses globally. In the discussion, Rajneesh provided his insights on the roadmap to prepare for the future of sustainability. He emphasized the importance of taking proactive measures in the present, with a strong sense of responsibility.  He walked the audience through how Shahi aims to reduce environmental impact through materials and processes by working with innovators to explore alternative materials with lower environmental impacts, reduce process-related footprints, and optimize resource consumption.

Furthermore, Shahi’s sustainability journey, deeply rooted in our “Responsible for” framework, integrating social and environmental well-being, was showcased in a spotlight session by Pravin Dalal, Deputy General Manager of Environmental Sustainability, and Snigdha Voruganti, Senior Executive of Communication and Sustainability Innovations. Their insightful presentation highlighted our ongoing efforts to drive positive change and make a lasting impact.

28 June | Roundtable at Global Fashion Summit

Sanjana Pimoli, Assistant Manager, Communications & Sustainability Innovations, participated in a roundtable hosted by Global Fashion Agenda with London College of Fashion’s Centre for Sustainable Fashion as a segment within the Next Gen Assembly programme for young sustainability talents. The roundtable discussed how storytelling could be used to drive ambition to action in fashion system transformation. Sanjana spoke about the agrarian crisis triggered in India due to climate change and the importance of innovations such as Cellulosic Superabsorbent Polymer in securing farmers and making the textile industry circular. She also emphasized the systems change required in scaling these innovations.

13 June | Planet Textiles by Sustainable Apparel Coalition 

Gauri Sharma, Assistant General Manager, Communications & Sustainability Innovation, was among the esteemed speakers at Planet Textiles on June 13, 2023. She shared insights on ‘Scaling Processing Technologies in the Fashion Industry to Achieve Our Climate Goals: Barriers and Solutions.’ There is an unprecedented level of urgency for the industry to decarbonize, which requires a shift from incremental to disruptive innovation, especially during the energy-guzzling textile processing stage. By setting this context, Gauri emphasized that manufacturers must be part of the problem-solving from the beginning. They require industry stakeholders to share the risk, jointly invest, and build long-term partnerships to scale upcoming technologies that enable the shift from wet to dry processing. 

08 June | Open Perspectives by H&M Foundation

Anant Ahuja, Head of Organizational Development, spoke on a panel, ‘Changing the System’, as part of H&M Foundation’s annual Global Change Awards. Anant highlighted the significance of social innovation in the apparel industry, given that it employs millions of people, particularly women, in the supply chains. Social innovation can be more complex than environmental because it requires an understanding of local contexts, and its impact can be hard to measure. Anant shared Shahi’s evidence-based interventions, which have had a measurable positive impact on both business and workers, and called upon the industry to invest equally in social programs and innovators. 

06 June | United Nations Responsible Business and Human Rights Forum, Asia-Pacific

Ayushi Ghosh, Senior Executive, Communication and Sustainability Innovations, represented Shahi in a side session on ‘Championing Worker Voice: The Role of Technology in promoting worker well-being’ at the UNDP B+HR forum this year.

In this panel, Ayushi spoke about the enduring principles of worker’s voice, emphasizing the importance of listening, understanding, and remediation, even as communication mediums have evolved over time. She stressed the goal of including worker voice in driving meaningful action and supporting a healthy work environment while fostering a thriving business. She highlighted the need to build the employer’s ability to listen and ensure that workers are equipped to utilize the available communication channels effectively. Understanding the journey that their voice takes through these channels is key. 

20-22 April | Odisha Skill Conclave 2023

Odisha Skill Conclave 2023 was a three-day event that brought together leaders from Industry, Academia, and International Organizations to explore innovation, best practices, and the role of partnerships in generating employment and unlocking the potential of Odisha’s workforce. The Government of Odisha has been a long-standing partner in Shahi’s path to making skilling accessible to youth and women in India. JD. Giri, Director at Shahi, described our journey together to empower the next generation of skilled professionals and drive economic growth.

19-21 April | AIChE: Global Polymers and Textiles Conference

Anant Ahuja presented the research on cellulosic superabsorbent polymer (CSAP) at the #AIChe Global Polymers and Textiles Conference held at the University of Massachusetts amidst industry leaders, designers, and academics. He emphasized the use case of CSAP as a climate adaptive measure to de-risk cotton farmers against crop failure due to water stress.

Anant also spoke at the circularity and supply chain management panel and shared his thoughts on the strategic collaboration required to accelerate sustainability in the industry. He highlighted how HKRITA – The Hong Kong Research Institute of Textiles and Apparel Limited’s model of applied research and partnership with the industry enabled us to work efficiently on R&D on CSAP.

15-17 March | 3rd Global Textile Conclave

Anjani Mishra, Deputy General Manager of Skill Development, represented Shahi at the 3rd Global Textile Conclave organized by the Confederation of Indian Textile Industry (CITI). In a panel on ‘Increasing Economic and Social Opportunities for Women in the Textile and Apparel Industry,’ he spoke about Shahi’s commitment to improving the socio-economic status of female candidates through skilling & gainful employment across 70+ skill development training centers in 15 States in India. He emphasized the importance of Upskilling & Re-skilling existing female employees to improve career progression within the organization.

16-17 February | OECD Forum on Due Diligence in the Garment & Footwear Sector

Anant Ahuja represented Shahi at the 2023 OECD – OCDE Forum on Due Diligence in the Garment and Footwear Sector. He spoke at the panel “Due diligence costs and responsibilities: Collaborative approaches to buyer-supplier relationships” about the value of multi-stakeholder initiatives on due diligence that involves suppliers, brands, NGOs, and other experts to address the challenges in a local context.

28 February | Organic Cotton & Textiles Conference 2023

Gauri Sharma, Senior Manager, Communications and Sustainability Innovations, Shahi spoke at the Organic Cotton & Textiles Conference 2023 about the social protections that need to be embedded and strengthened at the farm level in cotton production and the pertinent role of emerging policies in enabling these changes. She also highlighted how a vertically integrated manufacturer like Shahi could play a role in accelerating authentic organic cotton in the industry sustainably. 

31 January | BSR KWIL Conference

Gauri Sharma, Senior Manager, Communications and Sustainability Innovations, represented Shahi at the Business for Social Responsibility (BSR) event focusing on their ‘Keeping Workers in the Loop’ (KWIL) Project. In the panel ‘PROGRESS TOWARDS A JUST, FAIR & INCLUSIVE CIRCULAR FASHION SYSTEM’ joined by H&M, ILO, and Hasiru Dala, she shared how the learnings from the KWIL project motivated Shahi to take on a lens of social wellbeing in circularity. After engaging in the KWIL research last year, Shahi took on projects and pilots on circularity while keeping worker well-being at the center. She also emphasized the role of strong brand-supplier relationships in the fair transition to a circular economy.

30 January | Shades of Blue 

Chitra Ramdas, General Manager, Organizational Development at Shahi, participated in a panel discussion on ‘enabling worker voice,’ an essential tool for a thriving business and work environment for manufacturers at Shades of Blue by Good Business Lab. Shades of Blue was an experience center curated at the Alliance Française de Bangalore that explored blue-collar labor and its many complexities through a fresh way of understanding India’s older garment sector and the emerging gig economy.

24 January | IOM Panel 

Anant Ahuja, Head of Organizational Development, represented Shahi in the Indo-Pacific Supply Chain Guidelines Launch hosted by the International Organisation of Migration (IOM). He shared the myriad of challenges faced by migrant workers, including lack of affordable housing, health facilities, and social isolation, among others. Shahi is working closely with ecosystem partners to build a model and ecosystem of support for migrant workers at Shahi in the form of a migrant support center. The aim is to create an enabling environment for migrant workers to access job opportunities and create a model center that can be adopted and scaled across industries and geographies. 

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