Birla Cellulose: Spearheading Sustainable Fashion
Birla Cellulose, a part of India's large conglomerate Aditya Birla Group, manufactured viscose fibre, which came from wood and was naturally sustainable. In 2017, the Changing Markets Foundation (CMF) brought out a report titled Dirty Fashion, which described the environmental damage caused by manufacturing practices used in viscose fibre production. The report detailed impacts on the environment, bodies of water, and communities around viscose manufacturing plants. Birla Cellulose responded to the report by collaborating with CMF and making significant changes to its manufacturing processes to comply with the highest standards around the globe. It ensured that its raw materials were responsibly sourced and that its products were responsibly manufactured and then properly handled at the end of their lives. The company was proud of its achievements. At the same time, it recognized that it needed to do more. In late 2019, the company's business director wondered how to make the company even more sustainable. What level of investment would be required? How could it adapt to changing consumer preferences and still retain the benefits it had recently gained? Utkarsh Majmudar is affiliated with Indian Institute of Management Udaipur. Namrata Rana is affiliated with pay to company.