‘Prepare Your Supply Chain for a New Era’, an event by PFI, TTI and CSI took place on Thursday, 22 October 2020. Quality control is an essential element when expanding business opportunities and delivering products that impress international customers. Locally performed testing and inspection can uncover defects at an early stage, avoid complications and prevent unanticipated delays. By finding areas of improvement early on, producers can satisfy customer requirements on time and stand out from the competition. The event had speakers and participants from variousorganisations.
The event kicked off with introductory remarks by the moderator Lukas Rebentisch, Director, CSI Hong Kong Ltd. Dr Gerhard Nickolaus, Managing Director. PFI Fareast (Hong Kong) Ltd. And Mr Hameed K. Lateef, CEO, TTI Testing Laboratories introduced the collaboration services between PFI and TTI. This was followed by a panel discussion with the guest speakers that included Andreas Tepest, Global Head of Quality Management, Deichmann, Uwe Thamm, Global Production Head, Jospeh Seibel and DersimAvdar, Co-Founder & CEO at DFS Digital Footwear Solutions. The topics that were focussed on were:
The biggest challenges in quality management and compliance
The benefits of local partnerships
The impact of COVID 19 on business and sourcing
Sourcing criteria when entering a new market
The trends and outlook into 2021
In the next session Candice Wang, Managing Director, PFI Fareast (Hong Kong) Ltd. and Sarim Mehmood, General Manager, TTI Testing Laboratories discussed how service providers such as PFI and TTI can support retailers and manufacturers to overcome these challenges. Kelly Cooper, Sustainability Manager, PFI Fareast (Hong Kong) Ltd. spoke about certification and sustainability services. In the final session Manfred Junkert, Managing Director, Federal Association of the German Footwear and Leather Goods Industry (HDSL) spoke about the changes in the legal and customer environment and the impact on quality and compliance. The event concluded with a Q&A session.
PFI is a quality assurance and consulting firm with more than 60 years of experience in the footwear, leather and consumer goods industry. PFI is represented in Germany, Hong Kong, Mainland China, Vietnam, Bangladesh, and Pakistan. Its team of quality, chemical and sustainability experts engage in testing, quality inspections, factory audits, sustainability consultancy, and certification
Dr Gerhard Nickolaus, Managing Director. PFI Fareast (Hong Kong) Ltd
Dr. Gerhard Nickolaus has more than 40 years of experience in production facilities in Asia and in safe and sustainable chemical management. With four decades of experience in analytical testing and quality inspections of footwear, he has exceptional expertise in chemical management, identification of hazards and implementation of solutions, and highest expertise of physical and chemical testing procedures. He is the founder of the International Shoe Competence Centre (ISC) and has established testing, training and education centres in Asia. His former positions include university lecturer and Chairman of German, European and international standardisation commissions such as ISO and EN.
Candice Wang, Managing Director, PFI Fareast (Hong Kong) Ltd.
Candice Wang is the key intermediary between PFI Germany and Asia. She has 17 years of experience in the footwear industry and expert knowledge in product inspection, factory audit and consultancy services. Her career is founded in quality, testing and inspections in the footwear industry. She also has focussed knowledge of applying digitalisation in business and management.
Kelly Cooper, Sustainability Manager, PFI Fareast (Hong Kong) Ltd
Kelly Cooper manages sustainability projects across PFI in Hong Kong. Her role includes advising and developing sustainability strategies, working with European fashion brands on integrating post- consumer materials into new products, creating circular supply chain processes. Her most recent work with Carrefour, Lidl and Deichmann is focused on developing sustainability in FMCG supply chains.
Textile Testing International (TTI)
is a world class, globally recognized and accredited testing facility and inspection body and the first lab approved by US consumer product safety commission (CPSC) for consumer safety testing in Pakistan. TTI has a country-wide network of labs and customer centres including a modern purpose- built main testing facility in Lahore as well as liaison offices in five cities.
Hameed K. Lateef, CEO, TTI Testing Laboratories
Hamed K.Lateef founded TTI Testing Laboratories in 1995. Prior to TTI, Hamed has lead various Textiles/Apparel Factories on Senior Executive positions. Hamed has served as the Chairman of various Quality & Standardization committees and an active member of Advisory Council of various Universities and Technical Education Institutes. Currently he is the Chairman of Pakistan Scientific Laboratory Association.
Sarim Mehmood, General Manager, TTI Testing Laboratories
Sarim Mehmood is a Textile Engineer and Business Development & Sales professional from the Textile Institute of Pakistan. He has been associated with TTI Testing Laboratories since the last 13 years. As a General Manager, Sarim is managing the operations and business development of TTI.
DersimAvdar, Co-Founder & CEO at DFS Digital Footwear Solutions
DFS Digital Footwear Solutions is a software provider with the vision to make the footwear industry fit for the future. Many players in the shoe world are still unfamiliar with the term digitization. Our industry is still governed by a system of multi-stage processes and separate communication and trade channels. DFS brings today's technologies to collection development and material sourcing, connecting shoe and material producers to streamline how they work together.
Manfred Junkert, Managing Director, Federal Association of the German Footwear and Leather Goods Industry (HDSL)
The HDS/L supports, represents and protects the common interests of German footwear manufacturers in the areas of social and economic policy. It is a federation of six regional shoe industry federations with altogether 120 members. The HDS/L actively advocates the business interests of its members towards political institutions and the public sphere and represents these in national and international committees. Manfred Junkert joined the shoe and leather industry in 2007 and has since then led the HDS/L with innovative ideas and vigour, extending the federations networks and cooperation, as well as driving changes towards sustainability and environmental responsibility in the industry.
“Pakistan is a hidden gem” – Optimism and a Zest for Action at the 1st InternationalSustainable Pakistan Conference – Sustainability in the Fashion Industry
On 17 September 2020, leaders in textile, footwear and sustainability came together at the 1stInternational Sustainable Pakistan Conference, with the theme of Sustainability in the Fashion Industry.Thanks to its digital format, the conference attracted attendees from all over the world. Over a hundred participants joined from Pakistan, Germany, Hong Kong, and other places in Europe, Middle East and Asia.
The conference was organised by Sustainable Pakistan, an industry initiative supported by GIZ that provides sustainable, innovative and digital solutions for global manufacturing industries. It is based on projects developed and run by the German Development Agency GIZ, in particular the project to improve labour standards in Pakistan’s textile industry. The initiative’s mission is to create and realise innovation in the fashion industry and others while promoting Pakistan as excellent sourcing partner for sustainable products.
In three sessions with different foci, 13 speakers from associations, businesses and other players in footwear and apparel industries discussed the opportunities of sustainable development presented in Pakistan.
Romina Kochius,project Leader of GIZ Labour Standard Programme,kicked off the event with an encouraging speech about the diverse opportunities present in Pakistan, calling Pakistan a “hidden gem”, and the benefits that sustainability brings to everyone, including the environment, businesses and consumers.
“Pakistan is an all-rounder. You can source anything here.” – Romina Kochius, GIZ
The State of Innovation
The first session brought together Manfred Junkert from HDS/L, Nadeem Mazhar from Pakistan Textile Journal, Dr. Gerhard Nickolaus and Candice Wang from PFI Hong Kong and Abid Omar from Syntech Fibres. Zubair Bandukda (CSI Ltd.) moderated the session on Footwear and Innovation. Mr. Junkert highlighted the enormous growth potential of Pakistan in terms of exports to Germany. Mr. Omar shared the perspective of an innovative fibre producer and pointed out that Pakistani companies are working on many innovations and offer great opportunities to diversify sourcing structures. As managing editor of the biggest journal on Pakistan’s textile industry, Mr. Mazhar has witnessed the industry’s development over the past decades and sees positive trends despite the current global crisis, in particular thanks to increases in value-added products.Dr. Nickolaus also sees a big will to innovate and invest that will help Pakistan’s manufacturers to meet increasing sustainability requirements and distinguish themselves as excellent sourcing market in the 21st century.
This development is welcomed by the brands and retailers of the German footwear and leather industry, who are looking for new materials and ideas that can meet high standards and create new possibilities, stated Junkert. Ms. Wang added that consumers care more and more about not just what is in the product, but also where it come from and who made it, implying increasing awareness for global supply chain processes. The speakers all agreed that Pakistan has a bright future ahead but warned that its image could be jeopardised by a scandal. The main advantages of Pakistan are its young population, existing infrastructure, open-mindedness and its strong local fashion market, proof that Pakistan can handle every step of the fashion supply chain.
“Innovation cannot happen in isolation” – Zubair Bandukda
Opportunities for Cooperation
The second session, moderated by Aalia Jafar from ICCIA, focussed on the topics of development and cooperation. Karl Borgschulze, managing director of CSI and initiator of Sustainable Pakistan commenced the session by saying thatCOVID is accelerating the changes we were already seeing, and it is now time to act. The global community has a complex task to solve in the coming years. Pakistan offers the ground to create those solutions. Romina Kochius, who is involved with Sustainable Pakistan pointed out that sustainability is not just demanded by consumers, it is also smart business. As consumers increasingly value quality over price, it is smarter to move towards sustainable, value-added products.
Guido Brackelsberg from the DTB added that vertical integration will become more important and recommended businesses to actively promote their innovations.
“Do good things and talk about them” – Guido Brackelsberg, DTB
When asked about the opportunities for cooperation, Hajra Sami from Samad Apparel underlined the cognisanceof Pakistan’s current leadership about sustainability that facilitates cooperation and sustainable development and highlighted the huge role Pakistan can play in global sustainability efforts. Lutz Dietzold of the German Design Council encouraged innovative producers and brands to be more active in communicating their innovations to increase visibility and cooperation. Mrs. Kochius added that many young people are now taking over the family-owned businesses that their parentsfounded and are driving sustainability issues. Moreover, sustainability is by far not a topic only important to Western consumers but is also of concern locally.
The Future of Sourcing
In the final session, Max Gilgenmann, creative strategist at Kaleidoscope Berlin, guided the speakers through an interesting discussion on the future of sourcing. As head of sustainability and CSR at NKD, Mali Stelzer was able to share what is important when implementing sustainability in global supply chains. She stressed that this is only possible in cooperation with supply chain partners and requires positive energy to continue to tackle challenges on the way.She hopes that more and more businesses will join sustainable initiatives, as NKD has. Hamed Lateef from TTI agreed with Stelzer and added that a clear focus and connection between buyers and producers is essential, as all actors in the entire supply chain need to work together to implement change. While there is still a gap to bridge, he sees a bright future for Pakistan as products from there are sustainable and at a good price point.
“If all actors along the supply chain contribute just a little bit, we can make the world a better place.” – Max Gilgenmann, Kaleidoscope Berlin
Meike Kern, who directs Heimtextil, sees that the young generation now is challenging everyone to do more to protect the environment. While a lot of change is happening already, Ms. Kern appealed to producers to be more communicative and not be shy when promoting their sustainability achievements.Ralf Hellmann, vice president of MaxTex, agreed on the value of communication and extended it to consumers as well. Hellmann believes it is important to educate consumers on aspects such as materials, otherwise they will not be able to make informed purchasing decisions. He also stated thatcombining the strengths of many companies will facilitate communication, as Sustainable Pakistan does. The speakers agreed that Pakistan’s textile industry is looking into a bright future as excellent sourcing market of sustainable products.
The audience had the chance to get their questions answered in the Q&A session, although time restraint cut the session short. Overall, the conference was a success and stimulated further interest in Sustainable Pakistan.
CSI expresses their thanks to the speakers for sharing their unique perspectives at the event, as well as the GIZ for their support.We look forward to the next conference.
Sustainability is no longer a niche activity. In fact, sustainability is becoming a topic of main interest for various groups on the market. Consumers have a
vested interest in seeing and understanding where their products are coming from, brands and retailers are understanding transparency and sustainability as an
essential part of their procurement and sales activities.
Therefore communication and marketing for the project are playing a vital role in transporting the messages buried within the project.
Since August 2019 Sustainable Pakistan and its members had the chance to be represented or represent themselves in a number of events nationally and internationally.
Including trade shows, conferences, stakeholder events or the media.
To this day Sustainable Pakistan has already seen the light of three international trade shows globally. With a soft roll out to the general public in September
2019 during the Munich Fabric Start.
Through the trade show, interested parties enjoyed the opportunity to learn more about the concept, the ideas and the background of the project as well as meet a
number of representatives involved in the project
The successful introduction to the broader public was followed by a significant representation at the 50th edition of the Heimtextil trade show in Frankfurt during
Over 60.000 visitors had the chance to learn more about “Sustainable Pakistan”, about Pakistan as a country as well as the participating factories and their products.
The 50th edition of the Heimtextil embraced the topic of sustainability within the textile industry putting Sustainable Pakistan and its members into a head start
position to communicate their commitment towards the topics of sustainability and transparency. A message the partners were not only able to communicate throughout
their participant in the trade show but also through the participation in various events including a panel discussion event introducing the concept of “Sustainable
Pakistan” as well as discussing global market changes happening in and around the global textile market.
Exposure on trade shows is one aspect of the awareness and communication campaign of “Sustainable Pakistan”. Another important part is played through the
participation in international conferences. Throughout the course of the project phase a, the partners as well as the managing team of “Sustainable Pakistan”
had the chance to represent the idea, the project and the implementation on conferences in Pakistan as well as Europe.
This includes Conferences on Change within the Textile Industry, the Second International Conference on Technical Textiles in Faisalabad, the 4th editions of
the NED International Textile Conference and various other events introducing the project, its opportunities and potentials to potential partners, customers and
Despite the challenges caused by the ongoing COVID19 pandemic the participation in events and conferences continues. Currently the project partners are underway
to participate in the digital and global event that is the TexWorld trade show in New York in July 2020.
Sustainable Pakistan is an initiative that aims to reshape global perceptions of Pakistan’s manufacturers and highlight their innovations. Twenty producers were
chosen to be presented at Heimtextil to help rebrand Pakistan’s textile industry at the exhibition. As a featured exhibition, the Sustainable Pakistan stand was
located at a prominent position in Heimtextil Frankfurt. The initiative is launched by the German organisation Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale
Zusam-menarbeit (GIZ) and based on results of their many years of successful work to improve standards in the textile sector of Pakistan.
On the final day of the trade fair, a panel discussion was held titled ‘Sustainable Pakistan - innovative solutions for the home textile industry.’ The speakers at
the discussion were: Karl Borgschulze of Consulting Service International Ltd, Romina Kochius of GIZ, Sameer Ahmedani of Ayoob Textile Mills Ltd, Baber Khan of
Nishat Chunian Ltd, and Liaqat Ali of Noor Fatima Fabrics Pvt Ltd.
Speaking at the discussion, Ms Romina Kochius said, “Pakistan is a textile all-rounder, covering the entire textile value chain: There are some who are lagging behind
with regards to innovation, but others have understood that they need to change. We see in which area a company has a strong interest. From there on, we open doors
to other dimensions of sustainability.” She added, “Working in Pakistan is extremely fruitful because a lot of our partner companies are extremely willing, open,
curious, enthusiastic about what they are doing, and passionate. And that is something that makes life and business in Pakistan extremely easy.”
Mr Karl Borgschulze said, “I have lived for three months in Pakistan and… for me personally and my team it’s such a joy… The security situation getting better
and the infrastructure is wonderful, I would say most of them are at least on the same level as German and sometimes I would say better. So it is very easy and
convenient to do business there.”
Ayoob Textile’s Mr Sameer Ahmedani urged the audience, the media, and the customers to visit Pakistan saying, “Everyone says Pakistan is the land of opportunity.
It is not wrong. It is right. People should come and see. Pakistan is a very safe place. They can come and see what kind of technology we are coming up with,
according to international standard. There are people coming up with new ideas, new things… just come and see and start working with us. Our government is also
focusing on exports.”
Texworld USA is an international business platform, which is the Mecca for the Textile Industry worldwide. All sorts of professionals ranging from designers, merchandisers, product R&D specialists, buyers and suppliers come together annually to network and boost their businesses. The event welcomes a vast range of textile products from across the globe. They range from denim to cotton, knits and shirting. They introduce the latest trends of the season in terms of fashion, style and colours. It provides buyers the opportunity to directly meet the manufacturers from different continents and regions. They can see for themselves the textile products that are in demand and how to get the best deals in the market. This year, however, due to the circumstances the event was held on a digital platform. It had virtual showrooms, interactive educational programming, live chats and online networking.
Sustainable Pakistan also participated in the event for the first time this year. The project represented itself as a unique project in the global fashion industry where digital solutions, latest knowledge and sustainable concepts are merged together in order to create groundbreaking products with transparent and integrated supply chains.
Keeping ethical sourcing as a key fashion trend Sustainable Pakistan proudly showcased the innovative products manufactured by our partner factories. All textile goods were produced through environmentally friendly methods by manufacturers valuing transparency and compliance as part of their products core. The products successfully caught the eye of various buyers giving them insight to the textile industry of Pakistan, assuring them that sustainably is the fundamental concept of their product design and brand labels.
Sustainable Pakistan had the opportunity to interact with buyers from different parts of the world and engage in fascinating discussions. The exhibits were widely popular and this in turn opened doors for future business opportunities.
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