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Kenya Breaks Ground for World’s First Green Garment Factory Made From Recycled Containers

Kenya can become a model for other nations striving for sustainable development

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The world’s first green garment factory has broken ground in Athi River EPZ, in Kenya, with a $530,000 (about Ksh69 million) investment from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and a $1.3 million (about Ksh170 million) loan from Trade Catalyst Africa (TCA).

This new warehouse spans 5,000 square metres and is poised to be the world’s first sustainable garment factory constructed using upcycled containers. Already under construction, the green textile centre will be completed by December 2024.

With its innovative construction, and use of solar energy and rainwater harvesting, the new garment and textile centre is expected to save an estimated 18 tonnes of CO² annually. It will also conserve 1,000 cubic metres of water annually, highlighting the potential for sustainability in industrial design.

In addition to USAID and TCA funding, the new factory is a joint venture with Modular Real Estate EPZ Limited (MODULAR), a subsidiary of Container Technology Limited (CONTECH).

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“This investment presents a great opportunity to build scalable and sustainable industrial space for garment manufacturing and symbolizes our dedication to environmental stewardship,” said Mr Duncan Onyango, CEO of Trade Catalyst Africa. “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.”

Mr Onyango added that TCA is dedicated to fostering sustainable development through innovative industrial and infrastructure projects, rooted in partnerships with leading organisations and leveraged on cutting edge technologies to drive Africa’s economic growth.

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.

Mr Naeem Pasta, CEO of Modular Real Estate EPZ said: “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.”

Importance for Kenya

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 its garment and textile production, Kenya will enhance its competitiveness in the global market.

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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Bill Yaura is a Correspondent for Business Today. He can be reached on email: [email protected]
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