Cross Industry Learnings ...
We are only well too aware that legislations and regulations are determining and shaping the fortunes of many industries, and consequently the players therein. The lack of compliances will have far reaching implications in economic, health, social and moral grounds, and ignorance or indifference to these can be only done at one's own peril.
Our textile industry is fairly updated on these fronts for a multitude of reasons. Firstly, the global nature of the business means that these have a top-down percolating effect which means that even the most demanding and sensitive of regulations eventually find their way right down the supply chain, and in today’s world even quicker than before. Secondly, the human contact element means that there is no hiding, escaping or brushing under the carpet of those regulations related to human health and safety. Thirdly, the enormity and sheer magnitude of the industry and its elaborate supply chain also makes it one of the most scrutinised segments. Last but not the least, the final B2B link in the supply chain tends to be large retail and clothing conglomerates who have recently come under immense pressure to self-regulate their operations and tighten their compliance measures on all counts. All of this would suggest that the textile industry and supply chain is at the top of their game, and ahead of the curve in terms of its compliances, awareness and regulatory needs.
While this is true in a relative sense, what is also true is that regulations, especially related to chemicals and materials are of a transient and constantly evolving nature, primarily because these are all relatively new, and their effects on the environment and human health are only now beginning to be fully understood, simply because of the gestation period and protracted build-up time involved in their adverse effects, if any, showing up. Hence, we must continue to remain alive and alert to new learnings and impositions that might come our way on a constant basis.
Another important element of learning and awareness is to understand similar elements for other related industries. Many other industries like cosmetics and pharmaceuticals have a common element of chemistry and coloration, and hence a fairly close correlation to us, while others like the automotive and construction industry have an indirect underlying element of chemistry and materials. All of these are fairly regulated industries, and we must keep ourselves abreast of the happenings in these, cutting across geographies not confined to our own. I conclude this piece to drive home my thoughts and leave the industry with something to ponder over by quoting a very profound and relevant statement made by a senior speaker at a conference I was a part of recently ... “What is bad for one industry cannot be good for another. It is not a matter of whether this will impact our industry, but when and in what manner.”