Photo credit to Pisati Beniamino
Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/ Mongolia, known worldwide for its finest cashmere and unique nomadic culture, has approved the National MNS 6926:2021 - Standard for Sustainable Textile Production, in line with key government policies, including the country’s long-term development policy Vision 2050 and the 2030 Global Agenda for Sustainable Development. Furthermore, the National Standard indicators are in line with international standards, boosting the competitiveness of sustainably produced Mongolian genuine wool and cashmere products in foreign markets.
The National Standard was officially approved by the Textile Technical Committee of the Mongolian Agency for Standardization and Metrology, with the main objective to make the textile sector environmentally friendly, socially responsible and ethical. It covers a wide range of issues such as the rational use of natural resources, energy consumption, the use of chemicals, industrial waste, social responsibility, labor protection, and animal rights.
The criteria and key outcomes of the Standard are based on the Voluntary Code of Practice for Sustainable Production (VCP), initiated and elaborated within the EU funded SWITCH-Asia Sustainable Textile Production and Eco Labeling (STeP EcoLab) project implemented by AVSF Mongolia and its partners. The Mongolian Wool and Cashmere Association and the German Center for Sustainable Consumption and Development, played a key role in formulating the sustainability criteria of the VCP to meet the requirements of international certification schemas.
Photo from Mongolian wool and cashmere association
Dr. U. Sarangoo, Manager of the STeP EcoLab project explained: “It wasn’t an easy process. Initially, the concept of sustainability wasn’t clearly understood, especially among SMEs. Jointly with our partners, we had numerous meetings and consultations with key government institutions, as well as with processors. We explained the necessity for sustainable production and justified our interventions and had to be constant and systematic in our approach. Mongolia is a developing country and is very committed to promoting sustainable development in all sectors and boosting economic growth. Therefore, the approval of the National Standard in the wool and cashmere sector is crucial for the country’s development and its global recognition. But this is just an initial step, much more should be planned ahead.”
Guillaume Touati, AVSF Mongolia Country Representative: “AVSF Mongolia has been an active player in developing sustainable cashmere value chain in Mongolia by working with herder cooperatives to practice sustainable sourcing and, therefore, is happy to have this important outcome achieved at the processing level. This result will be imperative as it will contribute to developing a solid and trustable cashmere value chain and will definitely raise the country’s competitiveness on wool and cashmere markets worldwide.”
To ensure the preparedness of the committed SMEs to “go sustainable”, STeP EcoLab jointly with the team of experts is currently in the process of providing practical advises on the basics of different sustainability criteria such as energy saving, water efficiency, waste management, chemicals use and social safeguarding. The approval of the Standard for Sustainable Textile Production is an important step towards compliance of international standards needed in promoting sustainable consumption and production (SCP) in the textile sector in Mongolia.
““I hope the National Sustainable Textile Production Standard will help the industries to increase and boost their reputation not only nationally but also at international level, as the successful implementation of this standard is a good prerequisite for the companies to gain international recognition and obtain globally recognized certifications”, said Pierre-Yves Lucas, European Delegation to Mongolia Cooperation Team Leader.