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RECONOMY’s Leap Forward: Sustainability in Textile and Apparel in the Eastern Partnership Region
April 12, 2024
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RECONOMY’s Leap Forward: Sustainability in Textile and Apparel in the Eastern Partnership Region

RECONOMY, a program of the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), implemented by HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation, focused on regional inclusive and green economic development, has taken a significant step to explore the sustainability potential of the Eastern Partnership region within the textile and apparel industry.

The regional hybrid event, held on 12 April 2024 in Tbilisi, Georgia, marked a milestone for RECONOMY. It brought together like-minded changemakers of the region to jointly discuss challenges and seize regional opportunities for sustainability in the textile and apparel industry.

The event was opened by Tinatin Genebashvili, representative of the Embassy of the Kingdom of Sweden in the Republic of Georgia, underscored Sweden’s commitment to environmental sustainability and its support for the Eastern Partnership region in transitioning to a circular economy.

The event also featured a welcome speech by Paulo Rodrigues, Program Manager of RECONOMY, who underscored the goal and projected impact of RECONOMY, emphasizing the transformative potential of sustainability in the textile and apparel industry for the Eastern Partnership region.

The fashion industry is one of the largest industries in the world, and it serves as one of the significant sources of employment for women in the Eastern Partnership region. However, at the same time, the industry is predominantly associated with the highest levels of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and energy consumption, pollution, and significant waste generation. However, it requires a transformational shift in the market system and there remain serious constraints limiting the industry’s capacity to change the traditional ways of production and trade.

RECONOMY’s unique contribution lies in its focus on regionality. By tackling shared problems, engaging common actors, and understanding systems in countries, RECONOMY is setting a new standard in regional cooperation.

A panel discussion included key figures like Vahan Khachatryan, Fashion And Design Chamber of Armenia; Gvantsa Meladze, Export Development Association; Nino Giorgadze, Sustainable Sewing Enterprise “Leader”; and Rati Kiria, investment analyst.

The event served not only as a platform for sharing knowledge but also as a crucible for inclusive dialogue aimed at overcoming barriers and paving the way for investment opportunities in sustainability within the textile and apparel industry. By leveraging existing knowledge and RECONOMY’s experience in cultivating textile and apparel green skills among youth and women, the event facilitated meaningful discussions among diverse stakeholders.

The event was live-streamed. Watch the video here.

Watch the video


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