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Colombian textile ecosystem ready for the future

OffCorss is a children’s clothing brand based in Medellin, Colombia. Together with PUM they have set up a webinar series focused on social and environmental responsibility within their supply chain. These efforts aim to equip their suppliers with the tools and knowledge necessary to be ready for the future. Following the success of the webinar series, OffCorss invited the SMEs within the textile ecosystem to apply for PUM advice in enhancing sustainability and strengthening the textile industry as a whole.

As a prominent player in Colombia’s children’s clothing market, OffCorss is committed to education, the environment and social cohesion. Collaborating with approximately 120 suppliers in and around Medellin, the company sources 95% of its textile bases and 96% of its clothing inputs within the country. Moreover, OffCorss generates between 700 and 2,500 jobs across various stages of the clothing production process.

Driven by their vision to become one of the most sustainable textile companies by 2030, OffCorss aims at aligning their stakeholders with their sustainability strategy. Conducting a survey among their suppliers revealed a great interest in enhancing sustainability practices. They initiated the “ECO OC” programme and approached PUM to develop a comprehensive webinar series.

Sector coordinator Gea Eleved is in the lead at PUM’s side and she started with identifying pressing issues and questions. Subsequently, she sought cooperation with other PUM sectors to develop the following insightful webinars:

  • Energy: delivered by PUM expert Maurits Boogaard, this session explored energy saving and storage techniques, as well as solar energy .
  • Textile Innovation: presented by Gea herself. This webinar delved into innovations in machine technology, including printing and dying processes.
  • Circular Economy: presented by Gea Eleveld, this session included topics such as new/better raw materials, design thinking, and concepts of re-use, reduce, and recycling.
  • Waste Management: presented by Pieter van Hagen. This webinar gave suppliers more insight into recycling and upcycling techniques
  • Chemicals in the Textile & Fashion Industry: conducted by PUM expert Chris Koeleman, this session created awareness about the responsible use of chemicals and other substances in textile manufacturing.

The webinars took place between September 2023 and February 2024. Every webinar attracted between 60 and 100 participants from OffCorrs’s supplier network. Following each webinar, the participants received a homework assignment, such as conducting self-assessments on sustainability and circularity.

After the successful completion of the webinar series, OffCorss released a video on YouTube encouraging participants to apply for advice with PUM based on their specific needs. PUM representative Carlos Meijer also reviewed webinar feedback and self-assessments to identify SMEs that could apply for a follow-up project. To date, 20 companies within this textile ecosystem have applied for remote advice or advice on location, signaling a promising step towards a more sustainable and resilient industry.

Textile ecosystem

This project serves as a clear illustration of PUM’s approach to working within ecosystems. By fostering collaboration and mutual support among stakeholders, the ecosystem becomes a catalyst for achieving joint aspired objectives, in this case improving sustainability and preparedness for the future. Central to this approach is the exchange of knowledge and new ideas, strengthening relationships, and the enhancement of conditions for the textile SMEs. PUM is excited to contribute to raising awareness and implementing measures aimed at fostering positive social and ecological impact within this community of entrepreneurs.