The shift: reduced emissions and competitive edge for Armstrong Knitting Mills
Discussions surrounding the climate have been hot topics for a while. But since the overall temperatures are going in the same direction, all players in the textile industry — big and small —need to start acting. Because every one of us shares the responsibility to decrease our CO2 emissions.
So what can Nudie Jeans do? We can start by choosing suppliers who take their role in the global shift toward renewable energy and reducing CO2 emissions seriously. We sat down with our Indian supplier, Armstrong Knitting Mills, to get their thoughts on their role in this.
— We are constantly looking to increase our renewable energy production, thereby reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Any particular reasons why Armstrong invest in renewable energy?
— Well, we've always aimed to be a front-runner in the sustainable textile manufacturing industry. And for over a decade, we've produced organic-only textiles. Today, we use other sustainable fibers, like recycled ones. Moving forward, we plan to invest more in renewable energy production to decrease greenhouse gas emissions. Our first step was the windmills — with a current capacity of 18.50 megawatts per year — and we recently invested in solar panels. At the moment, their capacity is 20.20 megawatts per year.
One of the driving forces behind this shift is Armstrong's executive director, Mr. Vivekanand. He's been a key player on these projects since the beginning, and he's directly involved in the wind and solar energy projects. And even though there's no sustainability department within the knitting mill, Armstrong gets help from their parent company.
— A division within the Armstrong Group works closely with our administration department. And they supply us with the required data whenever brands like Nudie Jeans ask.
Did you analyze the financial risk or possibilities of investing in renewable energy, or have any hesitations toward these investments?
— There are always financial risks when making a significant investment. For example, we are unable to run the windmill during cyclones. And the government frequently changes its policies and its buying prices. But, we invest in our passion and want to remain the front-runner within sustainable textile manufacturing.
Armstrong Knitting Mills sells part of the electricity produced by the windmill back to the state's power grid, and then purchase it to support parts of their extensive facilities. The same goes for what the solar panels produce, which keeps one of their spinning facility running. The rest they sell to the state's power grid.
Would you say the windmill and solar panels add value and a competitive edge for Armstrong against other suppliers?
— Yes, it does, certainly for marketing ourselves and our vision about sustainability. Working with brands like Nudie Jeans attract other brands with a sustainable mindset, so it definitely gives Armstrong a competitive edge. And hopefully, the competitors will follow, which ultimately means reduced emissions on a bigger scale. We want to inspire other suppliers, but we recommend they do the research before making these significant investments.