Kenya to build world's first green textile industry in Athi River

The Sh69 million firm will be ready by December.

In Summary
  • It is expected to reduce energy use by 40% and water consumption by more than 30%.
  • It will also cut carbon dioxide emissions by more than 30%.
A sketch of world’s first green industrial garment factory being set up in Athi River
A sketch of world’s first green industrial garment factory being set up in Athi River

Kenya is set to unveil an environmentally friendly clothing industry worth Sh69.4 million.

The 5000 sqm factory, currently under construction in Athi River is expected to reduce energy use by 40 per cent, water consumption by more than 30 per cent, and carbon dioxide emissions by more than 30 per cent as the country moves towards net-zero in 2030.

It has attracted various investors including the United States Agency for International Development(USAID) with Sh69.4 million, a joint venture with Modular Real Estate and a Sh170.3 million loan from Trade Catalyst Africa (TCA).

The factory which is expected to be ready by  December is being built using upcycled containers to significantly cut carbon footprint.

Experts say it is expected to save an estimated 18 tonnes of CO2 and three million litres of water annually highlighting the potential of sustainability in industrial design.

TCA CEO, Duncan Onyango, highlighted the importance of embracing sustainable methods in industrialisation and expressed his support for the project.

“This investment presents a great opportunity to build a scalable and sustainable industrial space for garment manufacturing and symbolises our dedication to environmental stewardship,” said Onyango.

"By pioneering this unique industrial space, we are setting a new standard for the garment industry, positioning Kenya and Africa as leaders in sustainable manufacturing," he said

Notably, the global textiles market, valued at approximately $1.5 trillion in 2020, is poised for significant growth.

This initiative will place Kenya at the forefront of this expansion by promoting Eco-friendly manufacturing practices, to improve its competitiveness, therefore creating jobs, particularly for women, and boosting its export potential.

"This project showcases how innovative thinking and environmental responsibility can coexist, leading to economic growth and a healthier planet. We are proud to be part of this pioneering effort," said Naeem Pasta, CEO of Modular Real Estate.

The green garment and textile centre is a step forward for Kenya's industrial sector, aligning with the country's vision to transform into a newly industrialising, middle-income country.

By adopting sustainable practices in garment and textile production, Kenya will enhance its competitiveness in the global market.

In addition, Kenya’s garment industry is a significant employer of women, who will now benefit from this modern, eco-friendly facility, which is expected to create numerous jobs and provide training opportunities, thereby empowering local communities, and reducing poverty.

By setting a precedent for green industrial practices, Kenya can become a model for other nations striving for sustainable development.

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