Ullhas Nimkar is Chairman and Managing Director of Nimkartek Technical Services Pvt Ltd, a consultancy company providing ecological and environmental solutions to the textile and leather supply chain, located in the city of Maharashtra, India. He received his Master’s degree on textile engineering from the University of Leeds, UK.
Ullhas is an acknowledged expert in the fields of ecology, sustainability and testing for the textile industry. As founder and manager of Nimkartek, he is associated with leading textile schools and universities as a mentor and resource person. He also serves as technical advisor and management committee member of various textile associations and trade bodies.
Three questions and answers:
1. Why did you engage in the ISC3 Advisory Council?
Coming from the background of the Textile Industry I have seen Chemical Restrictions grow from about 100 in 1995 to over 800 today. These no doubt will continue to grow as the understanding of the adverse impact of Textile Chemicals on Human health and the Environment grows. Many of these concerns have been addressed under the various SDG’s developed as a part of the 2030 agenda. The only way forward for a sustainable Textile Industry is innovation through design, sustainable chemistry and the rapid move towards a true circular economy. I believe the ISC3 initiative has the potential to share cross industry data and thus help accelerate the process.
I am happy to support this initiative bringing to the table the Textile, Dyes and Chemicals challenges and also help academia and industry start working towards new long term solutions in developing functional finishes and sustainable textile products and coloration and functional finish solutions.
2. How developing countries will take advantage from sustainable chemistry approaches?
Over the past couple of decades the manufacturing industry has moved from developed nations to developing countries. The developed nations have already reaped the profits of their innovations and now most of the products in the Textile supply chain have become commodity products after the expiry of the Patents. The margins have shrunk to the limits of survival and thus research is a thing of the past. Fresh research is sadly lacking today and the current intellectual effort to innovate is only to reduce costs. Sustainable chemistry approaches are needed to address all the current health and environmental challenges. There is a need to align the Industry and academia globally and give a harmonized direction to research. There is a desperate need for disruptive change in the way we will clothe the growing population in the coming century.
3. What about the economic opportunities of business models based on sustainable chemistry?
Sustainable Chemistry will be sustainable only if we are successful in building proper business models that are cost effective. The world will have to initiate this through public procurement and encourage private industry through suitable policies and legislation. The future of all the chemical based industries is through sustainable chemistry.