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Circular future for textiles

Globally around 92 million tonnes of textile waste is generated annually in an industry responsible for 10% of greenhouse gas emissions. In America alone more than 80% of used textiles end up in landfill, while a garbage truck of clothes is wasted every second.

Damning statistics which reveal a textile industry that is contributing heavily to the destruction of the planet. In a bid to combat this toxic trend Fashion for Good today launched the European Sorting for Circularity Project. Backed by brands including adidas, Levi Strauss & Co, BESTSELLER, and Zalando – and funded by the Laudes Foundation – it will develop an open digital platform over the next 18 months that can match textile waste from sorters with recyclers, as part of its mission to build an infrastructure that can support greater circularity.

“The aim of the 18 month project is to create a greater link between textile sorters and textile recyclers; stimulating a recycling market for unwanted textiles that can generate new revenue streams for sorters,” said Katrin Ley, Managing Director, Fashion for Good. “Traditionally, the sorting industry generates income through the sale of reusable textiles, with the remainder being downcycled, incinerated or landfilled. To achieve a circular system, a new end-market for non-reusable textile is required, with an infrastructure and digital matching system that can support activities of sorters and recyclers.”

Fashion for Good in collaboration with Circle Economy will also assess the strength of textile recyclers in Europe to identify gaps between the sorting and recycling industry. To highlight where innovation, policy decisions and investment should to be targeted to speed up the transition to circularity.

Individual actions will also help pave the way to a sustainable fashion future. To learn more about the journey so far and what needs to be done to transform the world of fashion, take a virtual tour of the Fashion for Good Museum.

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Written By

Iain is a creative writer, journalist and lecturer, and formerly an editor of two international business publications. Iain is now editor of Innovators Magazine, as well as the strategic content director for OnePoint5Media.

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