Bangladesh can capture a big share of the textile and garment recycling industry. The country has a big production base for cotton fiber clothing. Other countries having such an opportunity are Vietnam, Turkey, India, Malaysia and Indonesia. These are all markets with high viability for such a model, given the economic significance of the textile industry and commitment of local policymakers to supporting the sector. Bangladesh has the potential to produce $1.2 billion worth of recycled textile and garment items as the country has a big production base for cotton fibre clothing items, says a Global Fashion Agenda (GFA) and McKinsey & Company study.
Less than one per cent of materials used to produce clothes are recycled. In 2020, the overall uptake of recycled fibers compared to total fiber production was only around 8.1 per cent, with 7.6 per cent coming from recycled polyester from plastic bottles, not textiles. Cotton accounted for 24 per cent of the global fiber market in 2020, while recycled cotton made up less than one per cent. So there is a clear opportunity in building the enablers to scale up textile recycling.
Circular products, which require little to no virgin resources, are key to ensuring a more sustainable fashion industry as 40 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions from factories are created during the manufacturing process. About 35 per cent of the total amount of fibers wasted while making garment items is generated during production.