Circular economy initiative for textiles launched

12th May 2017

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Martin Gibson

Businesses including H&M and Nike have joined a new initiative by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation to build a circular economy for textiles.

The Circular Fibres Initiative will initially focus on clothing, global production of which has doubled in the past 15 years. The project is also supported by the Danish Fashion Institute, the C&A Foundation and its Fashion for Good initiative, non-profit organisation Cradle to Cradle and research programme Mistra Future Fashion.

The project partners are working with consultants at McKinsey & Co to analyse the industry, mapping how textiles flow around the world economy, and the impacts from the current system. Its first report is due in the autumn.

Dame Ellen MacArthur, founder of the foundation, said: ‘The way we produce, use and reprocess clothing today is inherently wasteful, and current rising demand increases the negative impacts.’

The initiative will create an ambitious vision for a new global system for textiles, using circular economy principles, she said.

The foundation is already working on a circular economy project to reduce plastic waste. In 2016, it launched the New Plastics Economy initiative, which has completed two major reports that have been presented at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.


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