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Fashion for Good launches US report on textile circularity

Fasion for Good launches US report on textile circularity


Fashion for Good, in collaboration with various industry stakeholders, has unveiled the Sorting for Circularity USA report, marking a significant milestone in understanding and advancing circularity within the textile industry in the United States. This pioneering report provides insights into consumer disposal behavior, textile waste composition, and the potential for fiber-to-fiber recycling, guiding strategic decisions for further investments and infrastructure development.

Exploring the US textile waste landscape

Despite being a global leader in textile consumption, the US faces challenges in managing textile waste effectively. Currently, only 15 per cent of textile waste is recovered, with the majority ending up in landfills or incinerators. With impending policies and increasing commitments towards promoting recycling, there is a pressing need for infrastructure development related to textile collection, sorting, and recycling.

The Sorting for Circularity USA project addresses critical data gaps concerning consumer disposal behavior and post-consumer textile characteristics. Through a comprehensive national survey and waste composition analysis, the project sheds light on key insights. The survey revealed that 60 per cent of respondents divert textiles, driven by factors such as condition and fit, while the waste composition analysis identified over 56 per cent of post-consumer textiles as suitable for recycling, notably cotton and polyester.

Mapping the future of circular textiles

The report identifies a $1.5 billion opportunity for fiber-to-fiber recycling, emphasizing the redirection of non-rewearable textiles from landfills to recycling streams. Growth strategies outlined in the report include efficiency improvements, increased commodity valuation, and policy mechanisms like extended producer responsibility schemes. Collaboration among stakeholders is highlighted as crucial for promoting circularity and driving technological innovation.

Building on these insights, there is an opportunity to assess different sorting business models and semi-automated sorting technologies. This includes the evaluation of a demo facility suitable for closed-loop textile recycling and identifying investment opportunities to scale solutions nationwide, aiming for both commercial and technical feasibility.

Overview of the sorting for circularity initiative

Launched in January 2023, the Sorting for Circularity USA Project is a pioneering initiative by Fashion for Good and RRS, aimed at advancing circularity in the fashion value chain. The project involves collaboration with industry stakeholders and utilizes advanced technology, including Matoha’s Near Infrared (NIR) technology, to assess textile waste composition and identify opportunities for fiber-to-fiber recycling.

Fashion for Good's brand partners, including adidas, Inditex, Target, and Levi Strauss & Co., along with external partners such as H&M Group and lululemon, have joined forces with key implementation partners to drive this initiative forward. The Sorting for Circularity framework, introduced in 2021, forms the basis for the project, emphasizing innovation and collaboration towards a more sustainable textile industry.



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