All Challenges

How to maximize the environmental and social impact of the textile industry by building a decentralized supply chain?

Relevant regions : Bangladesh | China | India | Pakistan |

Centralized production has been a hallmark of industrial progress worldwide since 1950. It had its benefits of course - higher production efficiency, economies of scale, higher investments, and better control of personnel training and quality control to name some. At the same time, such centralized production of goods including textiles has resulted in job losses for many developed countries, exploitation of environment and labour in poorer countries, significant migration of rural poor to urban regions, and also a lot of waste along the entire supply chain owing to its complex nature and sophistication. As the world tries to reconfigure itself post COVID, a higher reliance on local supplies including reinvigorating rural economies is topping the agenda of countries rich and poor. How can the textile industry, one of the largest industries in the world with significant centralized production, go local and decentralized?


  • City and local administration
  • Digital solution providers for textiles industry
  • National and regional policy makers
  • NGOs
  • Textile education professionals
  • Challenge questions

    What best of breed inventory and logistics practices can sustainably scale decentralized and distributed production of textiles and apparel?


    Decentralized production of textile and apparel can  bring significant social benefits, and if designed well, also reduce the overall ecological footprint of the industry.

    But large, centralized production has evolved such that with today's  advances on other technologies it can provide both economies of scale and scope.

    For decentralized production to become a dominant paradigm in the textile and apparel sector, it needs to be competitive with centralized production on economics and related competitive factors.

    What practices and designs operations and  logistics can enable distributed textile production to reach parity with centralized production?

    Stakeholders : City and local administration , Logistics professionals , NGOs , Textile fiber cultivation professional ,

    What are the effective training, skilling and upskilling avenues for rural and tribal people to start contributing to local textile and apparel production?


    Textiles of a region provide a medium to showcase man’s journey in life, events and occasions. Many of the material, techniques and forms used from ancient times remain in use even today, both as an essential aspect of production in many regions of the world and as ingredients in textile arts.

    Textile historians have noted some features seen across tribal art forms and crafts. Each tribal region has unique designs and forms that reflect their lifestyles, religious beliefs and observances. And also, each tribal group emphasizes some form of creative expression, which  gives it a distinctive  identity. But in recent times, the demand for these products are very low owing to the wide range of alternatives available at a low cost. So, it is important that these people are properly trained on key business skills in order to scale and grow their art forms more efficiently. What are the key areas in which the rural and tribal people need to be trained in order make their production process more efficient?

    Stakeholders : International policy makers , NGOs , Textile education professionals ,

    How can local and rural production of textiles and apparel effectively integrate sustainable practices that the regions are already acquainted with?


    The culture of textile fabrication is weaved into every community in the world. A decentralized supply chain provides a great opportunity to fuse traditional rural practices with industry practices, in terms design, manufacturing and sustainability. The demand has intensified for traditional textile and clothing producers especially small and remote countries. The overall social & environmental impact of the fashion industry could be reduced if large industries try to adopt sustainable practices from handloom and handicraft. This E2 Challenge debate from E2 Expo will discuss how local and rural production of textiles and apparel can effectively integrate sustainable practices in that region.

    Stakeholders : City and local administration , Entrepreneurs , Financial investors , NGOs , Textile education professionals , Textile industry training professionals ,