What is the Circular Fashion Partnership?
The Circular Fashion Partnership is a cross-sectorial project to support the development of the textile recycling industry in Bangladesh by capturing and directing post-production fashion waste back into the production of new fashion products. In addition, the partnership seeks to find solutions for the COVID-19 related pile-up of deadstock and to engage regulators and investors around the current barriers and economic opportunities in the country.
The partnership facilitates circular commercial collaborations between textile and garment manufacturers, recyclers and fashion brands operating in Bangladesh. A successful business case will demonstrate a decrease in textile waste and increase the use of recycled fibres, distributing value throughout the fashion value cycle and generating economic benefits in Bangladesh by accelerating the fibre recycling market.
The partnership facilitates circular commercial collaborations between textile and garment manufacturers, recyclers and fashion brands operating in Bangladesh and addresses two topics: post-production textile waste and deadstock.
Participants are supported in implementing a business model for post-production textile waste across the fashion value cycle. In relation to deadstock, research is being conducted to understand the current context in Bangladesh and the implications of COVID19. Following which three potential solutions will be designed and tested.
Scaling up the circular production of new garments made from post-production waste streams such as textile scraps in Bangladesh.
Stage 1: Traceability and recapturing of waste streams
Manufacturers in Bangladesh work together with partner brands and with support of Reverse Resources to set up segregation of waste cuttings within their facility. Manufacturers sell contamination-free, higher-value waste at a premium price through a streamlined handling process. The waste streams are matched with a recycling solution, offering a ‘one-stop-solution’ with traceability to all involved parties.
Stage 2: Circulating waste back into the value chain
After the waste streams are rerouted to recycling solutions, project participants will evaluate the opportunity to circulate these waste streams back into production. The material price will be moderate (not exceeding virgin), fully traceable and at the highest achievable quality. Product samples can be developed, and testing performed as per brand participants requirements.
Co-create and implement a solution for deadstock fabrics piled up as a result of COVID-19 in Bangladesh.
While developing the Circular Fashion Partnership project early 2020, the effects of the first COVID19 lockdowns in Europe were felt in Bangladesh. Retail lockdowns lead to abruptly cancelled orders, delayed and denied payments and build-up of deadstock and overstock, creating severe liquidity challenges for manufacturers.
It was imperative to address the immediate issues our local team and partners in Bangladesh were facing in their operations, and we therefore expanded the partnership objectives to include (COVID-related pile up of) deadstock as a waste stream for which we would explore a business model.
Together with project participants, organisers GFA and Reverse Resources are researching the challenges and scoping the opportunities of deadstock management. Three solutions are being designed and tested to determine a viable business case that would distribute value across all actors, maintain the value of deadstock materials following the waste hierarchy and by doing so, reduce environmental impacts.
Global Fashion Agenda and McKinsey & Company present the scaling circularity report. Lessons learned from the Circular Fashion Partnership for building pre-competitive collaborations to scale upstream circular fashion systems.
Scaling Circularity Report
This policy brief is intended as an informative piece, sharing recommendations for policy makers and regulators in Bangladesh and r EU policymakers working on circular textile strategies and policies.
Policy Brief | Circular Fashion Partnership
Assistant Secretary, BGMEA
Senior Deputy Secretary, Environmental Sustainability
Vice President, BGMEA
Co-Founder, Lead of Recycling Community & Projects, Reverse Resources
Lead of Operations in Bangladesh, Reverse Resources
Project Manager, Reverse Resources
Founder & CEO, Reverse Resources
Impact Programmes & Sustainability Director
Holly Syrett is the Impact Programmes & Sustainability Director at Global Fashion Agenda. Her responsibilities include contributing to the strategic mission and sustainability agenda, driving GFA’s impact programmes such as the Circular Fashion Partnership and ensuring strategic engagement with key stakeholders and partners. Holly Syrett joined Global Fashion Agenda as Senior Sustainability Manager in May 2020 to mobilise and guide the fashion industry to take bold action on sustainability by researching, project leading and writing new and existing GFA publications, commitments and reports such as the CEO Agenda. Syrett brings 10 years of experience working on sustainability and transparency programmes in the fashion industry for both public and professional audiences. Syrett is a World Economic Forum Global Shaper, Climate Reality Leader and she holds a BA in Fashion and Branding from the Amsterdam Fashion Institute. As part of the Global Shapers’ Community, she co-founded the Shaping Fashion movement that is now active in 50+ cities worldwide.