The Circular Fashion Partnership in Practice: Benetton Group

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Benetton Group is a Supporting Partner of the Circular Fashion Partnership, 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. Below we learn how the partnership has made an impact at Benetton Group.

The importance of a circular fashion system for Benetton Group

 

The opening sentence of Benetton Group’s manifesto is ‘Fashion is not everything’ – the company believes in more than just designing clothes, but also in a future that is sustainable, circular and regenerative.

Following this philosophy, Benetton Group has embraced different systemic initiatives aimed at a significant shift from a linear to a circular business model. It has introduced a strategy, as opposed to a single project, as it recognises that reaching this objective requires a structured approach rather than an occasional effort. The company has involved its stakeholders, instead of proceeding alone, based on the belief that all actors, from suppliers to final consumers, should contribute to make change happen.

Circularity, recycling and designing for durability are the Northern star in Benetton Group’s journey. It has adopted a strategic and pragmatic approach, leveraging on the skills and competences of its team and applying a new circular vision to its business, suppliers’ conduct and consumers’ habits. At the core of the company’s holistic strategy is its commitment to long-term sustainability.

This approach requires a shift in the way the company designs clothes – intentionally prioritising mono-material products that it finds to be more easily recyclable with the current state of technology. Regarding materials selection, Benetton has increased the recycled content of its products whilst maintaining a strong commitment towards the adoption of natural fibres.

Benetton Group’s B-long project is an investment in the durability of its products – ensuring they meet the highest quality manufacturing standard. The company engages with its consumers through B-care, an initiative aimed at teaching citizens how to take care of their clothes, so that they can last longer.

Benetton Group’s Circular Fashion Partnership Activities

Benetton Group is a partner of the Circular Fashion Partnership, supporting the development of textile recycling in Bangladesh, using waste from production processes to make new products. Whilst the company recognises that key barriers exist, such as scaling suitable technologies to recycle polyfibre materials, the availability of adequate waste recycling vendors and the lack of concrete policies, Benetton Group believes that we need to start reimagining the entire production process in order to recognise the value of textile waste.

The Circular Fashion Partnership facilitates commercial and circular collaborations between textile industries, fashion brands and recycling experts in Bangladesh, with a goal to generate economic value in the country by boosting the market for recycled fibres. In 2021, some of Benetton Group’s suppliers joined the initiative and, after training, began collecting cotton production waste for subsequent re-sale and recycling.

Nicoletta Sartori Head of Sustainability, Benetton Group
"Working towards a circular fashion system is rooted in our history. Our commitment to using high-quality, mono-fibre garments has been a pillar of our strategy since the beginning of Benetton’s entrepreneurial history. In the past we were also among the first companies to test new strategies to extend a product’s life-cycle, such as a collection service for second-hand garments, back in the Nineties. Today, we apply the same philosophy to the challenges that our industry is currently facing, as proud members of the Circular Fashion Partnership."

About Benetton Group

Benetton Group is a world-renowned fashion company, present in the most important markets globally with a network of about 4000 stores. Benetton prides itself on being a responsible group that plans for the future and lives in the present, with a watchful eye to the environment, to human dignity, and to a society in transformation.

Benetton Group is one of Global Fashion Agenda’s Supporting Partners for the Circular Fashion Partnership. Read more about the Circular Fashion Partnership and its various partners here

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