Thursday, December 31, 2009

Pratibha ~ Knitting the Fabric of Sustainable Ecological and Social System

Our new frontier
Sustainability is not just about saving the planet; it is about redefining and remodeling the existing business models to better address the most profound social, economic and environmental challenges facing our world today. Sustainability is a core part of Pratibha’s business strategy, and a strong driver for innovation.

Encompassing one & all
To produce a final garment involves many separate processes, and each has its own impact. As a fully vertical supplier, Pratibha has the opportunity to control each step and ensure that the best possible social and ecological impact is being achieved. We take a holistic view of the entire production process to be sure we deliver the best possible goods for our customers, with the most meaningful sustainability story.

Interconnectedness and interdependence
At Pratibha, a sustainable system involves merging the best elements of tradition with technology, agriculture with industry, farm with factory, contemporary with customary, rural with urban, and local with global. The sustainability ethos at Pratibha is embedded in the interaction between our agricultural system (the organic farming project Vasudha), our industrial System (vertical production from yarns to garments), our design expertise (the sustainable design project LOOP) and our social system (including our support for our workers, for women and for rural communities).

This approach helps us build a sustainable framework across the full value chain : at the farms, at the factory and beyond:

Sustainability at the farms
SEED ~ Sustainable by origin
In recognition of the significant social and environmental impacts of conventional cotton farming, Pratibha founded the Vasudha project back in 1999 with an aim to expand organic cotton farming culture in India and lead the wave of sustainable change through the SEED initiative: Socially inclusive, Economically empowering, Environmentally driven Development. Today the Vasudha project positively affects the lives of 28,000 farmers across 250 villages, covering 125,000 acres of certified organic and transitional cultivation
To learn more on what our farmers have to say, click on the link below

Sustainability at the factory
SOW ~ Sustainable by product & process design
Sustainability On the Whole: At Pratibha we see sustainability not just from a narrow lens of greening certain mainstream operations, but rather by visualizing a full-spectrum impact - from cradle to grave and back to cradle, from fiber to garment, and from garment back to fiber. Some of the many innovative solutions that Pratibha has come up with include a fully closed-loop fiber recycling system , wastewater recycling system, rainwater harvesting system, low liquor salt-free dyeing technology, natural gas powered energy system, and a comprehensive and proactive compliance and certification system. In the past two years, Pratibha has invested over $90 million USD to make us one of the most advanced factories in the world .

To learn more on Pratibha & its operations click on the link below:

Sustainability beyond farm and factory
ONUS ~ Sustainable by approach
To Operationalize the Unified goal of Social sustainability, Pratibha invested over $7 million USD in education, health care, development services and personal growth schemes. One such self sustainable initiative is Women Empowered (WE) which works to socially and economically empower as many as 700 women every year by providing free access to skills training, medical facilities and health care programs.

Working towards a Sustainable future: Vision 2012
At the farms
· Expand the organic farming to 200,000 acres and increase the number of farmers involved in the project to 40,000.
· Establish 10 model farms and a state-of-the art organic agricultural training and research centre under Project Vasudha.
· Establish core market for organic food produced through the Vasudha project.
· Creation of resilient farms & resilient communities through organic farming system .

At the factory
· Produce and supply sustainable textile products worth US$150 million.
· Set up a textile studies design, manufacture research & training centre for the underprivileged local community.
· Employ and impart vocational training to at least 1000 local women in the factory every year.
· Continued investment in sustainable technologies and processes that reduce consumption, waste, energy, chemicals and water used within the production system

Beyond farm and factory
· Further develop the project's social and community initiatives in three Indian states under Vasudha.
· Establish at least two more public schools for the children of farmers and
Laborers and introduce 10 scholarship programs for their higher education.
· Double the number of handicraft training centers to instruct rural women, allowing them to contribute to the family income.
· Investment in policies and perspectives that encourage social dialogue within and outside the sphere of our corporate system.