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Textile from Pakistan certified with EU Ecolabel

A Pakistani textile company with representation in Sweden was recently certified with the EU Ecolabel by the Dutch competent body SMK. Anwar Chaudhry of Roki Tex explains.

Roki Tex is the importer and marketing company for the textile company Nishat Mills. Nishat Mills, established in 1951, is the flagship company of the Pakistani Nishat Group. It has an annual turnover of more than 200 million euros. A production facility of 300,000 spindles, 800 air jet looms, and a dyeing and printing capacity of eight million meters per month make Nishat the largest composite textile set-up in Pakistan. Anwar Chaudhry of Roki Tex says, “We sell products worldwide, and therefore also in a lot of countries in the European Union. Most of our customers order online, so we don’t have many sales offices. In Europe, we have a sales office in Sweden. The most important countries in Europe for us are the Scandinavian countries, Germany, the Netherlands, Italy, and the UK. Through our regional partners, we supply a lot of hotel and retail chains with our textile products, such as bed sheets, pillow covers, duvet covers, and tablecloths.”

Label is complete
Chaudhry explains why the company chose to obtain the EU Ecolabel. “I’ve worked in this business for decades now, so I’ve witnessed the rise of the EU Ecolabel. We started out with national labels, but that became too complex for us. When I first saw the criteria for the EU Ecolabel, I was very impressed with the breadth and completeness of this set of criteria and decided to go for it. I first contacted the competent body in Sweden, but they were fully booked. Eventually we ended up at SMK in the Netherlands. I am very pleased with the help we received from SMK. They took up the challenge very well, and always helped us out with prompt answers. Auditing was done at the factory in Pakistan in late December.”

About the efforts in certification, Chaudhry says, “Because the company is a member of BSCI [Business Social Compliance Initiative], REACH compliant [Regulation on Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals], and GOTS certified [Global Organic Textile Standard], the production line in our factory itself already complied with the EU Ecolabel criteria for energy consumption and waste water treatment. But we did need to change our purchase of dyes, chemicals, and raw materials. We now use ecologically grown cotton, certified polyester, and EU Ecolabel-approved chemicals and dyes.”

Great future
About the expected rewards of certification, Chaudhry says, “In January we went to a large trade fair, but we were too late to communicate about our certification, because as long as you aren’t officially certified, you can’t communicate about this matter. But at the moment, I am very busy informing all our customers and resellers, and I expect a significant rise in sales within one year. After all, EU Ecolabel-certified products are only slightly more expensive than regular products, but the certificate represents an added value in environmental awareness. Convincing every partner of the benefits of EU Ecolabel certified textiles costs a lot of time, but I have no problem with that. I am a patient man, and I am convinced that there is a great future for EU Ecolabel-certified textiles!”

Convinced that there is a great future for EU Ecolabel-certified textiles!
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