After outlining the regulatory structure that influences the upstream textile and garments value chain in India, the author explores the challenges and drivers faced by textile manufacturers in India, along with providing policy suggestions and highlighting the opportunities for sustainable transitions.

The key challenges faced by the industry and for policymaking overall focus on the actors: multiple stakeholders have varied priorities, and there is a lack of trust among stakeholders and high levels of competition between them. The key drivers for transitioning to sustainable manufacturing will require higher collaboration among stakeholders, better regulatory structures that support transitions and sustainable products, better internal processes like tracking systems and adequate implementation of standards and certifications.

India’s textile manufacturing sector faces other challenges to achieving sustainability, such as lack of up-to-date technologies, transportation obstacles and infrastructural obstacles. However, the rise in sustainable policies and growing awareness and demand for sustainably manufactured products among customers in recent years highlight the changing narrative and increasing desire for sustainable manufacturing in India.