Tackling textile waste is fashion’s path to a circular future

The efforts to tackle the fashion industry’s problem of textile waste are continuing to gather pace, with players spanning the entire supply chain taking action, writes GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

Beth Wright, Apparel Correspondent for GlobalData, comments: “Textile waste has long plagued the industry and its players are mobilising at all ends of the supply chain to ensure the sector continues to advance on its journey to closing the loop.

“Initiatives to design out waste combined with take-back schemes and new circular business models are springing up across the industry post-COVID-19, with these steps taking the industry closer to a more circular future.”

One of the most recent examples is the Recycling Technologies and Sustainable Textile Product Design (ReSuit) initiative, which sees some of Denmark’s largest fashion and textile players join forces in a new project, whose ultimate aim is to recycle all textile waste in the country.

In nearby Finland, circular fashion and textile technology group, Infinited Fiber Company, is to build a €220m flagship factory to manufacture its regenerated textile fibres for export worldwide. With an annual capacity of 30,000 metric tonnes per annum, the site will use textile waste as feedstock.

In the US, a start-up, ReCircled, has opened a new facility in Nebraska to help drive the required innovation to create the country’s first garment-to-garment recycling system, while at brand level, Urban Outfitters is to provide a new facility in Philadelphia, and a working capital grant, to support non-profit, Fabscrap’s, expansion into the mid-Atlantic region. The organisation has developed a system to recycle and reuse fabric waste and has previously worked with Urban Outfitters to aid the retailer’s work in reducing waste along its supply chain.

Wright adds: “These steps are to be applauded, but the momentum must be sustained. The technology and opportunities are there for the taking; the industry must harness these advancements to ensure clothing stays out of landfills.”

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