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New initiative ‘Accelerating Circularity’ created to tackle waste

A new sustainability initiative ‘Accelerating Circularity’ is working with major apparel companies to chart ways to eliminate textile-industry waste and recycle it into new fibers and materials.

Accelerating Circularity’s mission will be to research and identify opportunities in apparel supply chains in order to make them circular, which mean taking returned goods and items defined as waste materials and turning them into new textiles. The initiative’s first projects will include research into mechanical and chemical recycling of cotton, viscose and polyester textile waste. These three fibers comprise more than 80 per cent of all textile fiber production.

Less than one per cent of textile waste gets recycled into new textiles. Some 16.9 million tons of textile waste are dumped annually. There need to be new maps for the supply chain that don’t exist today. There is a need to create the knowledge of where the textile waste is, how it should be collected and where it has to be fed to the appropriate recyclers. Some of the biggest names in fashion are joining forces to create a thriving industry based on the principles of a circular economy and are addressing issues that have seen the fashion industry become one of the most polluting and wasteful operating today.