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Circular Economy Principles begin with sourcing the right material. KKP FINE LINEN PVT LTD, a Namakkal based textile company has made it a mantra for their commitment to their own work, health of the planet and their customers

    This textile company has integrated the principles of circular economy in its true sense, creating a sustainable supply chain where the end of the life cycle is not an after-thought. KKP FINE LINEN PVT LTD has established systems to ensure that they only work on natural fibers which are perfectly biodegradable.

    Textile industry on the whole is a resource conscious industry, and in many ways, the mills set up in previous century have ethos of no wastage. This is embedded in the culture and so any waste coming out of spinning mills at every stage, gets used up in creating secondary materials or materials of lesser quality, however it does get used one way or the other. However, the primary thought of sourcing whatever material is selling remains the dominant industry thought.

    Life cycle analysis

    A life cycle analysis approach helps in identifying and comparing source materials across the life cycle. “Here looking at the systemic challenges the world is facing such as ocean plastics, it is clear that we need to focus on biodegradable materials” Suggests Mr. N. Sathesh Kumar, MD of the company. Other two factors that become extremely important are the use, or rather reduced use of chemicals, water and energy.

    Why it is the responsibility of textile companies?

    Mr.N. Sathesh Kumar clearly explains that “If we are producing fabric that is not biodegradable then the recovery has to be perfect and it becomes the responsibility of those who produce and sell and the one’ s who buy to ensure that loop is closed.” It is also important that there is awareness about the issue as very well-meaning customers may not be aware of the sources of the material. There is progress in that direction, but this is not a perfect process and requires far more awareness.

    Are all-natural fibers biodegradable?

    This is an area where lot of green washing potential exists. For an unsuspecting person the mere mention of cellulose may imply that the sources being tree, the fabric is natural. However, the manufacturing process is complex and the chemical additives and other materials are used to make the “man-made cellulose” (MMC) fibers.

    KKP Fine Linen Pvt Ltd is committed and engaged in the sourcing of sustainable preferred man made Cellulose fibers like Lenzing Tencel, Refibra, Eco Vera.

    Preferred MMCs (pMMC) are sourced from non-endangered, certified forests, and are manufactured more sustainably. These pMMCs use closed-loop process, where not only water, but also chemicals are re-used to avoid pollution. So, these pMMCs are biodegradable and the company’s target sourcing material.

    Are the advantages of progressive thinking helpful in current markets?

    KKP FINE LINEN PVT LTD has been associated with world leaders in technology partners by working on fabrics used for bed linen. Now that has direct co-relation with the quality of sleep. More and more consumers are getting aware of the advantages of using favourable materials that help in good sleep. By partnering with HEIQ, Dupont Intellifresh, Microban- KKP FINE LINEN PVT LTD is able to deliver a solution by preventing bacterial growth in the bedding.

    The company feels that there is an advantage in being proactive in this direction as one keeps ahead of the demand. The most important supply chain partner is the parent company KKP Spinning Mills that purchases 44% of their energy from renewable energy. There is 17041 Tonnes of carbon emission reduction per year because of sourcing power from wind farms.

    Is creating sustainable supply chain a challenge?

    There are always challenges when you are working on a niche product range. Now currently 20% of the company’s turnover comes from sustainable product mix like organic cotton and sustainable lenzing Tencel. KKP FINE LINEN PVT LTD has set a target of increasing the sustainable product mix from 20% to 32% by end of the financial year 2021-22 and will aim for 100% sustainable sources by 2030.

    Is Sustainability only about sourcing?

    So, for the triple bottom line approach, the company has taken four strands of sustainability, empowering people, enhancing community well-being and partnering for systemic challenge in social sustainability. Water stewardship, wood security, sustainable innovation and decarbonization are the core areas for work on environment that the company has set targets for 2030.

    Green Sourcing is the beginning but this works only when end of product life cycle informs the purchase decisions. Green Manufacturing encompasses optimum energy usage and sourcing renewable energy for production. Zero liquid discharge practices and non-toxic chemical usage are very crucial. Green packaging measures are very important in the supply chain and biodegradable packaging is the need of the hour. One of the areas that is the key areas or blind spot is the logistics, so minimizing the material movements is how the carbon footprint can be further reduced. The company aims to strengthen its existing work and have a target driven approach towards sustainability.

    The targets are to become 100% renewable energy based, 100% sustainable fiber sourcing and making all processes sustainable. Currently, the company has 100KW of solar energy which has been commissioned recently. With that, KKP FINE LINEN PVT LTD is able to meet 50% of power consumption using renewable solar energy.

    The company is validated by GOTS, Fair trade and FSC, ECOVERO, Tencel, Seacell, Linen Nature Fabrics and OEKO TEX. All the pre-consumer waste generated from the production process are sorted and grouped. So, this waste is converted to fabric for other use and pocketing cloth for trousers.

    In terms of social values, there are various initiatives undertaken by KKP FINE LINEN PVT LTD.

    Apart from regular healthcare, accident insurance and training on safety and health that are an integral part of the company’s DNA, KKP FINE LINEN PVT LTD commitment towards the environment is commendable too.

    As their requirement of water per day is 52,000 gallons, the entire water is completely recycled and used. They have installed Recycling and RO Plant, which re-uses all the water, and out of which 24000 gallons goes for Re-use and balance 24000 gallons goes for vegetation of 15,000 Pine Trees and 5000 Neem trees, which helps, reduce the carbon footprints as well.

    During the testing times as the pandemic, their staff and workers were vaccinated on priority.

    What other strengths do you leverage that helps in becoming successful in your mission?

    Competing in the market, skills are first and foremost with sound planning capacity and that combined with faster return time for the clients, by optimizing stocks helps in enabling better customer service. This can only be achieved through a strong team and team ethics. Taking a leaf out of Automobile Industry’s successful housekeeping engagements, the company has implemented 5S process.

    The manufacturing excellence of the factory has been appreciated and awarded by renowned forums like Quality Circle Forum of India and ABK-AOTS DOSOKAI for practicing best 5s and TPM Standards.

    Additionally, being contemporary is an advantage and the presence on amazon helps in moving along with the technological shifts in the industry and consumer behaviour. KKP FINE LINEN PVT LTD being a strategic partnership in the supply chain is servicing clients with faster deliveries in 4-5 weeks by holding the fabric in stock. This ensures the client is lean on stock and by the faster deliveries, they are able to service their customer in a better way.

    Mr. Sathesh’s target setting for 2030 is in sync with the SDG on Responsible Consumption and Production. The demand for the preferred materials can increase only if consumer is aware and demanding and the brands also create awareness about the materials.