Though experts believe that a circular European apparel industry has the capacity to lessen the impact of textile waste it produces, the idea has not been adopted by mainstream producers. As per a GreenBiz report, the European fashion industry fails to invest in circular projects. According to Conor Hartman, COO and Vice President-Business Development, Circ, very few brands invest in sustainability and technological solutions for a circular economy and support laws for them.
Some fashion companies are slowly incorporating sustainability into their operation, says Lauren Phipps, Senior Analyst, GreenBiz. Prominent amongst them is Levi’s which launched its first resale offering known as SecondHand and H&M launched its first in-store garment-to-garment recycling system known as Loop.
Collaboration between supply chain players
According to Karla Magruder, Founder, Accelerating Ciruclarity, though people across the textile supply chain are individually involved in recycling, they do not necessarily work towards the same goal. If they are made to work together, they can help the industry tackle some of its sustainability challenges.
One of these includes ensuring newly launched recyclable products are actually recycled at their end-of-life and easily made into a new product. Home textiles company Coyuchi ensures this by confirming each of its supply chain links understands their role in the industry.
Boosting circular fashion principals across products
Fashion Technology Company Circ aims to recycle 10 billion garments by 2030. The company produces 100 billion clothing items each year, notes Hartman. Its recent $8million Series A funding round was led by Patagonia and joined by Marubeni America, Card Sound Capital and Alante Capital. The company’s technology can give textile waste made from cotton or polyester or poly-cotton blends, a new life. In 2021, it aims to produce garments across the world using this technology.
France recently banned textile landfilling of unsold inventory by retailers and brands. Hartman believes, if these retailers can be made to work together, they can bring about a great change in the industry. In November last year, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection proposed to ban textiles from disposal in the sale. The European Union also plans to launch a new textile strategy to introduce durable, reusable, repairable, recyclable and energy-efficient products. This will boost fashion companies’ adoption of circular fashion principals across their products.