- Europe and Central Asia
Sectors of activity
Consumer Goods, Waste, incl. Chemicals, Public Procurement
Type of initiative
Capacity Building & Implementation, Research, Analysis, Assessment
Type of lead actor
Government / public sector
Recycling of worn-out clothing back into new textile products is a long-term sustainability goal for many in the textile industry. It would close material loops and reduce demands on virgin resources. However, there are a number of technical obstacles to textile-to-textile recycling and the demand for, and the supply of, sufficient quality recycled fibres remains limited.
This project aimed to increase knowledge among stakeholders of the opportunities for recycling and how these can be implemented. It focused at both ends of the loop. On the PUSH - textile products that are designed for disassembly and fibre recovery – and on the PULL - demand for recycled fibres in new products.
The following activities were carried out:
- identification of and contact with Nordic brands engaged in use of recycled materials in new products, design of products for ease of recycling and full closed loops
- interviews with frontrunning Nordic brands, their suppliers and other key partners such as technological institutes.
- Development of cases for ten of the brands in a Case Wallet aimed at inspiring other brands to begin the path towards material closed loops
- Deeper analysis was simultaneously published in an accompanying report. This identified common strategies for overcoming challenges such as increased costs, matching materials to functionality and assurances that recycled materials do not contain harmful chemicals.
- running of a seminar in Stockholm, back-to-back with Mistra Future Fashion’s annual conference. The seminar gave a forum for presenting cases and findings and bringing
brands and suppliers of recycled materials together.
Impact and Results
While reuse of pre-owned clothing on global markets is a thriving business and extends the lifetime of garments with resulting imporant environmental benefits, when the garments are no longer fit for use most still end in landfill or incineration. There is a huge need, especially as collection of used textiles accelerates to close the material loop for textiles.
This Case Wallet and the Analysis Report provide both inspiration and assistance for brands aiming to do just this and is inspiring brands to begin on this difficult but essentilal pathway for transforming the industry. The Case Wallet provides inspiration from well known brands while the analysis digs down into the detail of the challenges and sratagies for overcoming these.
The Case Wallet has already been downloaded more than 3000 times and is being used around the world.
Next steps and how to get involved
If you're a brand or designer wanting to close material loops in your products or just beginning on looking for recycled materials suitable for yur new products then look at the Case Wallet for Inpiration from n´brands such as H&M, Filippa K, Peak Performance and Houdini Sportswear.
If you want to look in more detail at obstacles and strategies for overcoming them, dig into the Analysis Report.
Otherwise contct the project manager David Watson at email@example.com