European Union has recently launched a SMART Textile and Garments project in Myanmar with an aim to bring together brands, trade unions and business associations to boost social and environmental sustainability in the garment industry.
The project will be working with more than hundred garment garment and textile factories in Yangon, Mandalay, Bago, Pathein and other regions. Under this project, local and European experts will deliver on-site assessment and training on topics such as human resource management systems in workplace communications, occupational safety and health, chemicals and waste management, and energy efficiency.
The SMART Myanmar project has already been working with garment factories since 2013 to promote sustainable consumption and production (SCP) of garments bearing the label of “Made in Myanmar”. Under SMART Textiles and Garments, which is an extension of SMART Myanmar, training and capacity building programmes for social and environmental performance will be expanded to more than hundred garment and textile factories in different locations in the country. “The project’s aim is to further strengthen sustainable production practices and responsible business practices in Myanmar”, said Jacob Clere, Team Leader of SMART Myanmar.
According to Pedro Campo Llopis, Deputy Head of development cooperation of the EU delegation to Myanmar, SMART Myanmar has proven to be an extremely relevant programme in accompanying Myanmar’s apparel industry’s shift to more sustainable practices. “Europe is one of the world’s largest consumer market and European consumers pay a lot of attention to where the products they buy come from and how they are produced. Sustainable production and respect for international labour standards are therefore important topics in the EU’s trade relations with Myanmar and this makes our cooperation with the Myanmar garment sector through the SMART Textiles and Garments programme so important”, Llopis added.