A New Textiles Economy: Redesigning fashion's future is the title of a report focusing on a new textiles economy generated by the Ellen Macarthur Foundation. Originally released in 2017, the focus is placed on identifying the fashion industry's current take-make-dispose model as the root cause of its environmental problems and economic value loss.
Every second, the equivalent of one garbage truck of textiles is landfilled or burned in Europe. An estimated 428 billion euro value is lost every year due to clothing being barely worn and rarely recycled.
If nothing changes, by 2050 the fashion industry will use up a quarter of the world's carbon budget. Washing clothes releases half a million tonnes of plastic microfibres into the ocean every year, equivalent to more than 50 billion plastic bottles. Phasing out negative impacts such as waste, water use, energy consumption and pollution would greatly improve the situation.
Multiple industries support initiative turning a negative positive
Initially launched at the Copenhagen Fashion Summit May 2017 as the Circular Fibres Initiative, the initiative sought to bring leaders from across the fashion industry, including brands, cities, philanthropists, NGOs, and innovators. Its aim is to stimulate the level of collaboration and innovation necessary to create a new textiles economy, aligned with the principles of the circular economy.
One year later, at the recent 2018 Copenhagen Fashion Summit, the Circular Fibres Initiative enters its second phase: Make Fashion Circular. To thrive, and not just survive, the fashion industry needs to radically redesign its operating model. By transitioning to a circular system, the industry can unlock an enormous economic opportunity.
In a bid to make fashion circular, businesses, governments, innovators, and citizens have committed to the cause including Burberry, Gap Inc., H&M, HSBC, Nike Inc., and Stella McCartney as core partners. At present, 16 stakeholders, including city authorities, fashion producers, designers, and brands have joined forces to transform the current state of fashion and rectify its negative impact.
Overly Ambitious or Easily Applicable?
The fact of the matter, this is the way forward and it is achievable. ISPO Textrends award winner Tintex Textiles is the latest company to join the initiative. All participants involved in the Make Fashion Circular initiative will unite to improve future systems that will benefit earth's inhabitants, the environment, and businesses based on three key principles:
1. Business models that extend the lifecycle of clothes
2. Materials that are renewable and safe
3. Smart solutions that turn used clothes into new clothes
In addition to Tintex Textiles, fashion leaders already on board include; DuPont Biomaterials, Fung Group, Hallotex, I:Collect, Inditex, Kering, Lenzing Group, London Waste and Recycling Board, Nanushka, Primark, RadiciGroup, Solvay, Texaid, VF Corporation, W.L. Gore and Associates.