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Circular Apparel Innovation Factory (CAIF)

Our role in Saamuhika Shakti Initiative?

In the Saamuhika Shakti initiative, Circular Apparel Innovation Factory (CAIF) aims to establish an integrated Circular Textile Waste Management (CTWM) model in Bengaluru which enables recovery and reclamation of value from textile waste while creating green and sustained livelihoods for the waste workers community.
CAIF will leverage Bengaluru’s existing Dry Waste Collection Centres (DWCCs), operated by waste entrepreneurs (WEs), as a network of hyperlocal centres to enable textile waste collection, sorting, and selling post-consumer textile waste to generate revenue for waste pickers.

What we do?

Intellecap, a global impact advisory and part of the Aavishkaar Group, works to build businesses that can benefit underserved segments across Asia and Africa. Circular Economy (CE), climate change, gender and livelihood, financial inclusion, natural resource management and enhancement of the private sector are some of the core themes it supports.
Intellecap seeded Circular Apparel Innovation Factory (CAIF), in collaboration with Aditya Birla Fashion and Retail Ltd. and Stitching DOEN as its anchor partners. CAIF is an industry-led initiative, a common action platform, born to accelerate the transition of the fashion industry across the global south to become resource efficient and responsible by creating sustained green livelihoods. CAIF’s mission is to build the ecosystem and capabilities to enable the circular economy to move from the margins to the mainstream, across the global south.

How we do it

The broad areas of work under the project include:

Meet our Waste Entrepreneurs

Our Waste Entrepreneurs (WEs) have played a crucial role in our distinctive endeavour to establish the Circular Textile Waste Management (CTWM) model in 8 wards of Bengaluru. Their courage in taking the first steps to engage with this model has been pivotal in our journey towards “Closing the Loop on Textile Waste”. Collectively, our 8 WEs have successfully diverted approximately 130,000 kg of post-consumer textile waste from ending up in landfills between March 2023 and November 2023.
Indumathi, Ward 150,
Nagaraja, Ward 28,
HBR Layout
Riyaz, Ward 196,
Sagaya Merry, Ward 179,
Shakambri Nagar
Anthony, Ward 197,
Manjunath, Ward 192,
Krishna, Ward 112,
Kumuda, Ward 177,
JP Nagar

What have we been able to achieve?

Direct jobs created for 43 waste pickers- These waste pickers have been actively participating in the CTWM model, taking on diverse roles such as collectors, sorters, entrepreneurs, drivers, and upcyclers. They have undergone comprehensive skill training, receiving 11-12 sessions covering various aspects of textile waste management.
Multiple trainings and consultations with the Waste Entrepreneurs and Waste Pickers
Additionally, through our capacity-building initiatives, 157 waste pickers have also been supported with skill upgradation or re-skilling on CTWM operation related competencies. This trained workforce will play a crucial role in expediting the implementation of the model during the second phase of the program. One of such capacity building initiatives focused on imparting waste pickers with skills on upcycling of textile waste to create value added products.
Upcycling trainings to use post-consumer textile waste to make value added products
Market linkages established with textile recyclers for reclaiming value from textile waste and closing the loop- A significant breakthrough in the first phase of the project involves the creation of markets for recyclable clothes, constituting approximately 50% of the total collected waste. Historically, the Panipat textile recycling cluster has been pivotal in transforming imported textile waste into yarns and other products. However, due to inadequate collection and sorting infrastructure in India and prevailing notions about the quality of domestic post-consumer waste, textile recyclers in Panipat heavily relied on imported materials.
In this phase, a notable achievement was the engagement of a prominent textile recycler in Panipat, who actively participated in the program by providing insights to enhance the recyclability of domestic post-consumer textile waste through specific sorting techniques. This iterative process of engagement and learning proved to be a successful test case, demonstrating the viability of recycling domestic post-consumer textile waste in India. As a result, a market has been established for waste entrepreneurs to sell a significant portion of their textile waste in substantial volumes.
Actively servicing 180,000 households in Bengaluru for textile waste collections- Through this innovative program, we have successfully implemented door-to-door textile waste collection services, reaching approximately 180,000 households across 8 wards in Bengaluru. Our comprehensive awareness and sensitization campaigns have effectively educated citizens on the importance of segregating textile waste in a clean form for collection by dry waste collectors.
Awareness creation has enabled separate collection of textile waste
Picture courtesy: Hasiru Dala

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