About 65 professionals from Tajik textiles and clothing companies, sectoral service providers, and relevant government agencies have raised their knowledge of International Sustainability Standards (ISS) for the textiles and apparel industry.  The series of introductory workshops took place in three cities: Bokhtar (May 27), Dushanbe (May 36) and Khujand (May 24).

The International Trade Centre (ITC) National Office in Tajikistan says this initiative was jointly conducted by ITC’s Global Textile and Clothing Program (funded by the Government of Switzerland) and the project of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH in Tajikistan Integrated Rural Development Project (IRDP)/ Towards Rural Inclusive Growth and Economic Resilience (TRIGGER II) (jointly funded by the EU and the BMZ).

Complying with international sustainability standards is reportedly crucial for any textile and clothing company aiming to export to the most important markets.  In order to achieve this goal, they need to ensure that their materials and factory production are in line with requirements, for example, related to the consumer safety, environmental footprint and well-being of workers through a social compliance policy.

During the workshop, companies had the opportunity to learn about: 1) the types of international certifications in textiles and their importance; 2) certification compliance requirements; 3) steps to get certified; 4) market availability advantages for certified companies; and 5) importance of certifications for Tajik textiles and clothing sector.

Participants reportedly also engaged with the expert and exchanged their experiences with other companies in the sector.  This introductory session aimed to familiarize companies with the topic that generates and help them understand how this investment can increase their companies’ revenue.

The workshop also introduced participants to the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI), the world’s leading sustainability initiative for cotton.  BCI’s mission is to help cotton communities survive and thrive while protecting and restoring the environment.  A range of stakeholders and enterprises working in the apparel sector are members of the initiative and comply with its rules and standards.  So far, Tajikistan does not have many companies as members of the global initiative.  As part of the workshop, they learned about the procedures needed to become a member and the benefits of taking part in the Better Cotton Initiative.


Trainer Amal Isamukhamedov says, “The topic is crucial for enterprises from our Central Asia region as they need to be aware of international requirements to increase exports to other countries.  I understand that certification can be costly for some companies.  However, enterprises learned today how these certificates are investments that can significantly increase the potential of their business and export.”

For his part, Saidmumin Kamolov, ITC Tajikistan National Program Manager noted that they believe that the business should seek not only for the profit, but also commit to social and environmental responsibility.  “We promote this idea among the Tajik business with this and other events in the future and we are ready to support the local entrepreneurs in their efforts to protect their workers, to protect their environment, and to introduce new social norms into their agenda,” Kamolov said.

Gokhan Emre, Textile Technology Consultant at Vahdat Textile says, “More than ever, clients and buyers expect companies to align with social and sustainable requirements.  In recent years companies have been watching the rising of strong demands to the fashion industry to ensure human rights and environmental policies are respected throughout the clothing value chain.  Our company also needs to adapt to this reality to continue to have a competitive product in the international market.”