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Sunday, March 18, 2018

Appropriate and economic use of jhut

M S Siddiqui

Jhut as commonly known is waste fabric from woven and knit garments. These jhuts are either or
mixed of cotton, yarn and fabrics. These jhuts are raw materials of spinning mills for re-production of
yarns and there after production of home textile and tarry towel. The colored jhut also included waste
from tailoring shop and different small fashion garment factories.

More than 25 percent of materials are discarded in fabric and garment factories, which can go up to
47 percent in some cases. Bangladesh government use to give bond license to garment factories for
import of fabrics. Government use to allow different quantity of wastage out of imported fabrics to
different garment factories.

In practical situation, the major part of fabric waste come out from the process of the cutting of fabric
following certain design and pattern of the market and some of the waste generate at the production
stages. One study shows that cutting process counts for 16.36 percent of waste from the total
material intake.

While a factory bought 272.4 m2 of textile to produce the 100 t-shirts, and 44.57 m2 of that material
ended up as cutting waste. About 6.37 percent of waste was left over from sewing (14.71 m2 from
the 227.83 m2 of cut fabric sent to sewing) and 0.09 percent from quality control. These calculations
also depend on the product type (e.g. t-shirt, jacket), size of the given product (e.g. XL, S) and
efficiency of cutting master and workers.

The quantity of leftovers per annum is immense. According to an estimated optimistic scenario, the
world would create 40 billion square meters of leftover textile per year, almost enough to cover the
entire republic of Estonia with waste. According to the mean prediction, the leftovers would amount
to 80 billion square meters, and according the pessimist scenario the waste would cover North
Korea and its 120 billion square meters.
The efficiency of the garment sector can save huge amount foreign currency form import of fabric or
yarn or cotton and value addition of garment could be higher. The management of waste also is a
major concern of many countries. The efficient use of waste can earn some foreign currency and
create job and also earning for thousands of workers. It is reported that about 10 lacs of workers are
involved in waste trade and some exporters are earning foreign currency.

Using waste from one cycle of production in the next through re-manufacturing involves practical
challenges but recycling it surely has a business potential within the country's garment sector.
Bangladesh Garment Industries have no plan to use the waste for maximum benefit. These are seen
as a secondary problem for most garment suppliers and use to sell to the local secondary market.
These are used to dump at waste dumping sites around factories or sold at through way price.

Now-a-days a section of business of collection, sorting, grading, packing and managing are different
segment of business with waste fabric. Some responsible buyers in Europe studied to measure the
quantities of waste from garment industries in Bangladesh.

They have gathered data from 4 major suppliers, showing the harsh truth - the total volume of
leftovers in different forms (yarns, cutting scraps, cut pieces, roll ends, overproduction, rejected
pieces and garments, etc) can sometimes be as much as 47 percent of the total raw material input.

Even with the best optimization methods, the volume can't be lower than 20 percent. It's not waste,
it's mostly considered as different side-products of a supplier, sold on to local market for others to
use. But for the major buyers it still means resources flowing out of their value chains on massive
scale on regular basis.

The study, calculated bottom-up or top down - at least 500,000 -700,000 tons of leftovers are
created in Bangladesh per year, which, with a combination of different reuse and recycling
techniques could be repurposed into >1 billion new garments (taking an average of 0,5 kg of material
per product).

The price of virgin cotton is currently around 2.5 USD/kg or Tk 200, while the white waste cotton
available at Tk 40 /kg is very much feasible for making new yarns in rotor factory in Bangladesh,
showing great potential to practice different methods of reuse and recycling in a profitable way. If the
garment jhut is not used, it mostly ends up in landfills or is incinerated, contributing to environmental

It is estimated that from growing cotton and then dyeing one single T-shirt take up as much as 2,700
liters of water that is then dumped into rivers or nearby water bodies contaminating them. Recycling
takes almost zero water. The Recycled products don't require any dye, chemical and almost no
water, making it a sustainable solution to pollution from garment production.

The best use of waste is re-use for making yarn and fabric. The eco-friendly yarn is used for knitting
and weaving products like T-shirts, socks, gloves, towels, home textiles, denims, sweaters etc. made
from these cotton has good market throughout the world.

Reverse Resources, an Estonia-based software company trying to develop an online market place
for garment waste for ensuring its maximum utilization and better value. The recycled yarn is 15-30
percent cheaper than the virgin yarn made from cotton. They estimated $4billion market of jhut in
Bangladesh. Their estimated volume of waste is 4,00,000mt /annum.

In Bangladesh, a small portion of jhut is reused in making low-end garments for the local markets. It
is also used as filling material in furniture, mattresses, car seats, but the value of it is very low in
these cases.It is reported that at present 20 jhut recycled small and medium enterprises (SME) short
and process and pack the waste for local use and export and local use of few spinning mills.

The present available waste is about 23,000 mt and current export is about 7,000 mt /annum. The
balance 16,000 mt is used for land filling and cleaning of factories other purposes. Recently waste
also used for fuel of brickfields in different part of the country. The spinning use only white waste and
those are available from the sorting of waste by recycled factories.

Jhut or waste are available from two sources (1) colored cotton waste (H S Code 5202.99.00), (2)
white sorted waste (H S Code 6310.10.00). The price of colored waste is Tk25-26 /kg and white
waste @Tk43-44 /kg. Bangladesh Textile & Garments Waste Processors & Exporters Association
(BTGWPEA) claimed to have exporting 90 percent of total waste and white sorted waste (H S Code
6310.10.00) of 10 percent is raw materials in making yarn.

Government has a policy of discouraging export and fixed the tariff value of mixed colored waste
(5202.99.00) @US$4.5 /kg and white cotton waste at US$0.235 per kilogram. But our competitors in
garment sector, India and Pakistan have neither restriction on export nor any tariff value.

Government may consider imposing restriction through higher tariff value on white knit-jhut (H S
Code 6310.10.00) to facilitate the waste available to spinning mills and allow export of colored jhut
from woven fabrics to facilitate export and earning foreign currency.

The eco-friendly yarn made from waste is the most economic and appropriate use of jhut. These
yarns are used for knitting and weaving products like T-shirts, socks, gloves, towels, home textiles,
denims, sweaters etc. At present about 8 spinning mills are in production and there are enough jhut
to feed more few dozen mills. Bangladesh should focus on setting up more spinning mills for
optimum use of entire jhut for re-production of yarns.

The writer is a legal economist