Norlanka, one of Sri Lanka’s largest sustainable exporters of baby and kids wear, together with the Environmental Conservation and Management Society of University of Kelaniya recently concluded Phase 1 of a mangrove restoration project in the coastal area of Chilaw. Over 100 participants from Norlanka and the university joined this restoration project.
Mangrove ecosystems of Sri Lanka are rapidly degrading due to the pollution caused by various human activities. This project aims to restore mangrove ecosystems in selected areas of the Sri Lankan coast while raising awareness on their importance. During the initial stages, a series of webinars were conducted by the University to create awareness about the project.
Under Phase 1 of the project, 650 mangrove plants were restored with the help of the volunteers. Phase 2 of the project involves regular monitoring of the changes in the restored mangrove cover. During the first two years, regular monitoring of growing seedlings and maintenance work needs to be carried out to ensure the plants grow properly.
Mangroves protect the seashores from erosion and are the first line of defense for coastal communities from storms and provide homes for various animal species. They store 3 to 5 times more carbon per hectare than tropical rainforests. Through their dense network of roots and surrounding vegetation, mangroves filter and help to maintain water quality. They also provide livelihood for communities through fishing and eco-tourism. Restoring 650 mangrove plants will have a total carbon sequestration of 7,995kg per year. Throughout the lifespan of the 650 mangrove plants, 199,875kg of CO2 can be removed.
Norlanka Chief Innovation Officer Buddhi Paranamana commented, “The global apparel industry has a significant effect on the environment and therefore we need to always strive to create an industry that is held accountable. Norlanka is a company that firmly believes in this and that is why, along with our many other ESG efforts, we have invested in reforestation programs. We have a set a goal of becoming carbon neutral by the year 2025, and this mangrove restoration project with the collaboration of University of Kelaniya is just one of many initiatives that we’ve commenced to ensure achieving sustainable excellence.”
Norlanka is a confluent apparel solutions provider, from design to delivery, for over 20 international fashion brands and retailers and works closely with over 40 partner factories across Sri Lanka. These factories help ship 20 million garments a year, making the company one of Sri Lanka’s largest sustainable exporters of baby and kidswear while the company’s diverse product portfolio also consists of active wear, casual wear, and athleisure. Its global clients include Primark, Matalan, Walmart, Superdry, George and many others. Norlanka is ‘a global company built on local roots’ with manufacturing operations in India and Bangladesh and expanding to several other countries. It is part of PDS Limited, a global manufacturing and sourcing platform with a footprint in over 22 countries.