Today’s linear “take, make, dispose” economic model is reaching its limits, and natural resources are becoming increasingly scarce, threatening the growth of the fashion industry.
A circular system restores and regenerates materials, in addition to providing opportunities to reduce environmental pressures and ease demand on natural resources while securing future supply and capturing the value of a product to the greatest extent possible.
The public is becoming increasingly aware of the environmental impacts of the fashion industry. Consumers expect the industry to address issues related to production, such as extensive water usage, toxic chemicals and garments accumulating in landfills. Implementing circularity offers an opportunity to evaluate and improve current business models as much as it provides a unique opportunity to create a close relationship with consumers.
An essential part of creating a circular fashion system is to set up collection systems, integrate circular design and consider how to manage end-of-use of garments. This can happen through practices that extend usage, for example resale, or through recycling worn out garments and incorporating recycled post-consumer fibres into the production of new garments.
This toolbox is designed to support fashion brands and retailers who would like to explore circular design within their company. It highlights the role design plays in creating a circular fashion system and is aimed to redefine the life cycle of garments by looping them continuously back into the fashion system. Download it below.
Senior Consultant and Senior Business Mentor
Boleap Born, senior consultant and senior business mentor based in Phnom Penh. Boleap has more than seven years of experience in business development, strategic design, training, Monitoring & Evaluation communication, facilitation at different national and government levels, market identification and marketing planning. He is also a sought-after mentor and coach for entrepreneurs in various sectors in Cambodia, mainly with young women, MSMEs and SME as well as the clean energy sector.
Innovation Associate, Fashion for Good
Mariana is an Innovation Associate at Fashion for Good, where she leads the Strategic Supplier Initiative, focusing on the initial implementation of innovative technologies within the organisation's portfolio. She is skilled in developing and maintaining effective supplier relations and collaborates closely with supply chain partners to support the adoption of sustainable technologies. Mariana holds an MA in Fashion and Sustainability and has worked as a sustainability program consultant for Singapore's Fashion Council, as well as an Innovative Textiles Researcher. She has also helped develop sustainability-focused curriculums at circular fashion consultancies.
Senior Manager, Sustainability, Crystal International Group Limited
Chief Executive Officer, The Hong Kong Research Institute of Textiles and Apparel
Mr Edwin Keh is the CEO of The Hong Kong Research Institute of Textiles and Apparel. He also teaches supply chain operations in the Operations, Information and Decisions Department of the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. Edwin had a career as senior executive with several international consumer goods and retail companies. He was granted a number of awards, including the Medal of Honor in 2020 by the HKSAR Government for his research work during the pandemic, one of the best of Top 50 Innovative Retail Leaders by Inside Retail Hong Kong in 2019. Edwin holds multiple IPs which won global invention awards.
Director of Department of Solid Waste Management, Environmental Protection Directorate, Ministry of Environment of Cambodia
Mr. DY Kiden works as director of Department of Solid Waste Management, Environmental Protection Directorate, Ministry of Environment of Cambodia, since 2015. He got Master Degree of Engineering from Toyohashi University, Japan, in 2005.
Secretary-General, Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia
Ken Loo holds a Ph.D in Economics and Finance and he joined the Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia (GMAC) in February 2002. GMAC is the umbrella association representing all exporting garment and footwear manufacturers in Cambodia and currently have more than 530 garment factory members and 60 footwear members. As its Secretary-General , Ken oversees the day to day running of the secretariat of the association and represents the sector when dealing with various departments and Ministries within the Royal Government of Cambodia. This advocacy role also extends to representing the industry when interacting with other stakeholders such as developmental agencies like the World Bank, International Labor Organisation etc. Another major role is to represent employers in our sector when dealing with trade unions and other industrial relations issues such as minimum wage negotiations.
Regional Coordinator for Chemicals and Pollution Action Subprogramme, United Nations Environment Programme, Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific
Dr Mushtaq Ahmed has been serving at global, regional, and national levels through the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in various capacities since 2005. Currently, He is working as the Regional Coordinator for Chemicals and Pollution Action for Asia and the Pacific. He also continues to serve as the Regional Coordinator for Resource Efficiency, the Global Coordinator for COVID-19 waste management, and UNEP Representative for Pakistan’s UN Country Team. At UNEP since 2005, He has a long experience in closing the loop across the value chain based on the lifecycle to achieve resource efficiency, carbon neutrality zero waste and pollution, and restore the ecosystem and nature. He has an extensive experience globally in holistic waste management (solid waste, liquid waste/wastewater, and gaseous emissions/air pollution and climate change). He has an interdisciplinary academic background in environmental management. He has been engaged with various international development projects and programmes for more than 30 years. His expertise includes project planning and implementation including research and extension for urban environmental services and infrastructure with a major focus on financial mechanisms, community participation, public-private partnerships, institutional reforms, and role of the international cooperation for local capacity building. At UNEP-IETC, He was engaged with resource augmentation by tapping renewable resources and by utilizing waste and wastewater. I was actively implementing the “Kitakyushu Initiative for a Clean Environment,” a UN/ESCAP Type-Initiative. He also has extensive experience of living overseas and working with local and international teams in various contexts. He also has good experience in organizing and managing workshops, training courses, and activities related to awareness raising, knowledge management, technology support and capacity building. He has been implementing national and city-level strategies for holistic waste management (solid waste, wastewater and gaseous emissions). He was also working as Director for Rural Water Supply and Sanitation in Pakistan for 4 years. He has also served as a Port Engineer for 6 years. At ROAP, He served as the Sub-programme Coordinator for Resource Efficiency. He led UNEP’s COVID-19 Response in the Medical and Humanitarian Phase focusing on COVID-19 waste management. He also served as Project Manager till 2022 for the Regional Policy Advocacy Component of the EU-funded SWITCH-Asia Programme to promote sustainable consumption and production and uptake of SDG 12 in Asia. He also implemented GO4SDGs in the region and led the Low-Carbon Lifestyle Challenge Startups. He has a Doctorate in Environmental and Resource Economics from Hiroshima University in Japan, a MSc from the University of Bradford in the UK, a postgraduate diploma in Transport and Undergrad in Civil Engineering from Pakistan, and schooling at Cadet College Petaro in Pakistan. He has also published various papers in international journals and has delivered various training programmes.
Responsible Business Hub Coordinator, Eurocham
Sara Monti is an Italian qualified lawyer with 10 years of experience in M&A, International Commercial Law and Corporate law at prestigious law firms in Milan, Beijing and Shanghai. She counts several experiences at academic level at Tsinghua University and Peking University in China; she obtained a Master Certificate from the Harvard Business School on Sustainable Business Strategy and a Certificate of Completion on Labour&Human Rights at the Council of Europe. Based in Cambodia since 2020, she assisted the Textile Apparel Footwear and Travel Goods Association in Cambodia (TAFTAC) in the procedure in front of the EU General Court about the Everything-But-Arms (EBA) withdrawal. She’s currently acting as Senior Responsible Business Hub Coordinator at Eurocham with specific expertise on sustainability and responsible business practices.
Senior Consultant, PricewaterhouseCoopers Pvt. Ltd.
Sumit has over 7 years of experience in the field of textiles strategy consulting. He has worked on multiple assignments in the sector with private players, International Development organizations, and the government. His areas of focus include cleaner production, resource efficiency, circularity, diagnostic studies for textile business performance improvement, opportunity assessment, strategy development, etc. Sumit has experience of working in India, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Cambodia, Azerbaijan, Mali, etc. across various textile sector assignments. Sumit holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Business Management from NMIMS (Mumbai, India) and a Bachelor's in Textile Technology from the Technological Institute of Textile and Sciences (Haryana, India).
Executive Vice President, C. Illies & Co.
Christoph Peters is the Executive Vice President of the German trading and service company, C. Illies & Co., where he manages the operations in Vietnam. Illies is a solution provider for investment goods across industries in Asian markets. Christoph studied Business Administration with majors in Finance at the HSBA University in Hamburg, Germany. After earning the bachelor degree 2007 Christoph gained experiences in the head quarter's Controlling Department, later for the division Plant Engineering in CIS countries. Since 2011 Christoph has been branch manager in Vietnam, leading the bureaus in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. Being passionate about new technical solutions and future markets Christoph has been monitoring the developments, especially in Cambodia and Myanmar. Being engaged in Asia´s predominant textile and flexible packaging industry for the last decade Christoph has developed a particular personal interest to market commercially viable recycling solutions. Apart from managing Illies, Christoph is active in sports, such as basketball and bouldering. Christoph is married and father of three children.
Partner, Gherzi ASEAN
James Phillips is a partner at Gherzi ASEAN, currently based in Hanoi and setting up the operation in the region. He has over 30 years of international experience in senior leadership roles across High Tech, Automotive, and Apparel industries. He has managed multiple development, manufacturing, and sales sites in countries such as Thailand, China, Vietnam, India, South Korea, Malaysia, Ethiopia, and the USA. James is a dedicated and experienced leader with a focus on developing people and teams to build excellence. He has set up the Made To Measure business with a 4-9 day turnaround for tailored product D2C delivery and worked with VITAS and industry voices to set up the Sustainability Committee for the industry. James holds an MBA from the University of Southern Queensland and a Mini MBA from INSEAD.
Managing Director, Recycle Raw
I am passionate for sustainability from the beginning of my career. I want to engage myself in this noble job which supports our earth to extend its longevity. I did my M.Sc in Recycle fashion design from Wuhan textile University, China & after that I have taken decision to enter my family business (textile waste sorting) & move it forward step by step & take into global level.
Country Director, GIZ in Cambodia
Secretary of State of the Ministry of Industry, Science, Technology and Innovation
His Excellency SARUN Rithea is Secretary of State of the Ministry of Industry, Science, Technology and Innovation. Before that, he was Secretary of State of the Ministry of Industry and Handicraft. In the previous governmental terms, he has served as Under Secretary of the Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction for two mandates and as the Advisor to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation for two mandates. His Excellency Secretary of State SARUN Rithea holds many Degrees from France (Sciences Po and ENA) as well as from Singapore (Civil Service College) and China (China Executive Leader Academy).
Director, PricewaterhouseCoopers Pvt. Ltd.
Arindam has more than 24 years of diverse professional experience in the textile and apparel sector. He has led consulting assignments in the areas of ESG, business transformation, policy development, capacity building, impact assessment, project/policy implementation, investment promotion, etc. He has worked extensively with Government, Public Sector, International Development Agencies, and the private sector in India, Bangladesh, Turkey, Mali, Cambodia, Vietnam, Thailand, and other South East Asian countries. Arindam holds a Masters of Technology degree in Textile Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology (Delhi, India), an Executive Masters in International Business from the Indian Institute of Foreign Trade (Delhi, India), and has also completed Oxford Leading Sustainable Corporations Programme from Oxford University.
Unders Secretary of State, Ministry of Environment, Cambodia
Mr. Pak Sokharavuth, joined the Ministry of Environment in 1993. He has been working in various fields related to environmental policy and planning, Environmental Impact Assessment, Environmental Protection, Montreal Protocol, sustainable energy, etc. To begin career as Deputy Director of the Pollution Control Department, and then Director the Air Quality and Noise Management, Deputy Director General, Director General and Under Secretary of Sate. He also appointed as the focal point for the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplet the Ozone Layer since 2001, with over responsible of the Montreal Protocol Implementation in Cambodia.
Coordinator for Environment and Due Diligence, GIZ Fabric
Kristin Sommer works as Coordinator for Environment and Due Diligence for the GIZ FABRIC project based in Cambodia with the aim of fostering sustainability in the textile and garment sector. She has been working on environmental sustainability in manufacturing in Asia for the last 10 years with stations in Indonesia, India and Cambodia. Especially the topics of sustainable supply chains and cleaner production have been the center of her work, especially with the food processing and garment industry. Prior to joining GIZ, she worked for a sustainability consultancy and an international NGO. She has a background in economics and environmental management
Deputy Chairman and Committee Chair on Taxation, TAFTAC
Albert Tan is the TAFTAC Deputy Chairman and Committee Chair on Taxation, where he supports members on tax issues and new tax policies. With over 20 years of experience in the garment manufacturing industry in Cambodia, he has managed various companies with a total workforce of over 19,000 employees. He has also served on the GMAC Exco committee since 1998, holding the Treasure position from 2001 to 2021. Additionally, he is a strong advocate of green energy and waste recycling, and has served as the Singapore Club President for two terms.
Integrated Expert of GIZ Fabric Project, EUROCHAM
Massimiliano Tropeano moved to India 20 years ago, successfully heading 3 buying offices for major Italian brands with responsibilities in buying, sourcing, production, quality, merchandising, CSR, etc. passing through hard goods and children care items, including sourcing in markets like Bangladesh, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Moved to Cambodia in 2016 with a major German retail chain, Massimiliano recently joined the EUROCHAM as integrated Expert of GIZ Fabric Project, where he is trying to bridge the gap between private enterprises and development world, bringing them together to a further level of cooperation and sustainability. Renewable Energies, Recycling and Environmental topics within the garment sector are his area of expertise.
Programme Manager, Reverse Resources
As a Programme Manager at RR, Harshitha leads global multi-stakeholder projects and initiatives. She has worked on projects such as the Circular Fashion Partnership in Bangladesh and the Sorting For Circularity project in India. She is also responsible for synthesizing programme learnings and aligning RR's digital tools and services with the business needs. In her past roles, she was an entrepreneur in the packaging products' manufacturing sector and also an investment banker in the impact investing space.
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.
Impact Programme Manager
Shamiul Hoque is Impact Programme Manager at Global Fashion Agenda (GFA). His responsibilities include driving the impact programs and deliverables in the focused regions. He is also responsible for managing relationships with and supporting our program partners. Shamiul joined GFA in April 2023 and has 13+ years of background in managing sustainability programs with renowned brands, retailers, and sustainability service providers. He is knowledgeable in sustainable materials management, material integrity, sustainable and circular product design, supply chain transparency & traceability.
As a participant, you will hear from leading local stakeholders, have the possibility to review best practices from other countries and share your organisations’ circularity ambitions and priorities. Topics of discussion will include textile waste segregation, business incentives and recycling technology requirements.
The event will take place in-person and is intended to be interactive and interdisciplinary, welcoming moreover an audience of manufacturers, brands, recyclers and recycling technologies, textile waste handlers, government representatives and associations.
Please RSVP by May 9th 2023, your application will be reviewed by our team and further correspondence will follow per e-mail.
The event will be in English and translations to Khmer and Mandarin will be available.
A full schedule with speakers and more information will be provided in advance. Whereas online participation is not possible, a report of findings will be provided after the event.
Primark 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 Primark.
The importance of a circular fashion system for Primark
For Primark, a circular fashion ecosystem (aka circularity) is where materials and products are kept in use for longer – put simply, reducing, reusing, and recycling materials. Becoming a more circular business is a key part of the Primark Cares sustainability strategy – the company has committed to making clothes that will last longer, are designed to be recycled, and are made from recycled fibres or more sustainably sourced materials. This is about minimising – and, ultimately, removing – waste in textiles at the start and end of a garment’s life. Primark has been working hard to become a more sustainable business for over a decade but its Primark Cares strategy – launched last year – accelerated this. The organisation has set itself ambitious commitments to change its business model. This includes changing the way Primark makes and sources its products, with a big focus on circularity.
Primark recently appointed a Circular Product Lead to manage this work internally and has begun to train its denim and jersey buying teams, in addition to suppliers, in circular design principles. The brand also views circularity as an enabler to reduce its impact on the planet as an industry and to support Primark’s commitment to halve its carbon footprint by 2030. Over time, Primark hopes to move to a closed loop system, turning old clothes into new, allowing it to increase its use of recycled materials. However, the organisation recognises that the technology to do this is still in its infancy. Nonetheless, Primark is doing what it can to test new innovations, build new partnerships and lead change. This can’t happen overnight, but as the industry evolves and new innovation scales, Primark intends to evolve with it.
Barriers to scaling effective circular systems
Primark recognises that circularity requires a change in mindset and that everyone in the supply chain has the responsibility to change their habits. Like any initiative which requires a change in process or operation, it takes time to implement. With the Circular Fashion Partnership, Primark is engaging with parts of the supply chain that historically it may not have had relationships with, like waste handlers and recyclers. Getting to know how they work has been truly insightful for the organisation and has provided a deeper understanding that the industry must work together to make the change that is required.
To scale effective circular systems, Primark reiterates the need for collaboration. Brands, manufacturers, waste handlers and recyclers need to agree on issues such as waste traceability and output quality – both of which are key to scaling effective circular systems. However, Primark is a large company and the small changes it makes can deliver a huge impact. Therefore, the organisation is committed to utilising Primark’s scale to help deliver change in this space.
Primark’s Circular Fashion Partnership Activities
The Circular Fashion Partnership, led by Global Fashion Agenda, has given Primark the opportunity to explore how it can close the loop, working with some of its suppliers to reframe what it would traditionally have described as ‘waste’ as a new resource instead. The Reverse Resources team have been integral to the Partnership, supporting Primark’s suppliers to segregate their post-industrial textile waste, by colour and composition, so that their textile waste can be matched with a recycler to make new fibres.
When Primark joined the partnership in 2021, it wanted to learn more about the waste infrastructure in Bangladesh and take the learnings to support its ambitions around the Primark Cares strategy and the work it can do with suppliers in this space. Primark worked with three of its suppliers to start this journey and by working together, identified a few key impacts, including:
Better Handling: waste management practices in Primark’s suppliers’ factories improved.
Waste Segregation: waste segregation plays a major role in this project and these factories are now segregating the textile waste according to colour and composition, keeping the textile waste scraps separate from other waste.
Waste Storage: the factories are now storing the textile waste in separate storage areas to avoid contamination.
Record Keeping: the factories are encouraged to keep an accurate record of waste generation, waste composition, colours etc. and the percentage of waste supplied for recycling. They provide all of this data in the Reverse Resources platform.
Traceability: there is complete traceability of waste through the Reverse Resources platform.
Transparency: the factories can identify which recyclers can process their textile waste.
Recycling: one factory has already shipped around 40 tonnes of textile waste, which is 22% of their total waste.
Advance Payment: in this project, factories get the waste value equal to the market value.
Primark’s established environmental sustainability team continue to work with its suppliers on the ground to implement these practices and the organisation is identifying ways to apply these learnings in other sourcing countries.
Primark is a leading international clothing retailer employing more than 70,000 colleagues in 14 countries – and growing. Affordability has always been at the heart of Primark. Its vision now is to make more sustainable fashion affordable for everyone. Primark is focused on giving its clothing a longer life, protecting life on the planet, and improving the lives of the people who make its clothes. That’s why Primark has set out to change the way its clothes are made with the Primark Cares strategy, a wide-reaching programme of commitments that Primark is working to achieve by 2030.
Primark 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.
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.
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.
Usha Yarns Limited 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 Usha Yarns.
The importance of a circular fashion system for Usha Yarns
According to Usha Yarns, circular fashion is the only way out of the complex web of resource scarcity, landfills, pollution and plastic waste in this age of increasing global prosperity and fast fashion. As the importance and acceptance of recycling grows in the fashion industry, the company finds itself very much centre stage in the think of the action.
Barriers to scaling effective circular systems
For Usha Yarns, it is clear that scaling effective circular systems cannot be achieved without collaboration and alliances. Today, it recognises the desperate need for a much deeper collaboration between all stakeholders. According to the company, The Circular Fashion Partnership creates the groundwork for kickstarting and accelerating the cooperation between stakeholders in order to achieve the goals of a circular textile value chain.
Usha Yarns’ Circular Fashion Partnership Activities
As the demand for recycled textile materials grows, Usha Yarns has perfected its products and has furthermore embarked upon scaling up. It has initiated a circular partnership programme to connect with local garment producers and brands to support with the recycling and traceability of their waste.
The Circular Fashion Partnership has given Usha Yarns a platform to network with brands, manufacturers and solution providers to collaborate and work together in a global space to overcome the challenges of transitioning to a circular economy.
About Usha Yarns
Usha Yarns Limited has a legacy of more than two decades in learning, developing and producing recycled textiles. Today, the company has three spinning plants in operation spread across 20 acres within the proximity of Chandigarh. The plants are modern and equipped with the best recycling technology driven by trusted brands like Rieter, Truetzschler, Oerlikon and Schlafhorst. The company has a monthly capacity to produce more than 1,000 tonnes of regenerated yarns in different solid and mélange colours, certified by Global Recycling Standards (GRS). The products are thoroughly examined on each quality parameter of global standards to ensure the complete satisfaction of customers. The company is an emerging brand in circular textiles, known for offering unique values like 100 per cent recycled content, big lot sizes, traceability, no colour variations and fine quality for both hosiery and woven applications which sets it apart from competitors
Usha Yarns 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.
C&A 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 Circular Fashion Partnership has made an impact at C&A.
The importance of a circular fashion system for C&A
C&A’s vision is one of a restorative circular economy where nothing is wasted in the creation or disposal of clothing. The company believes that a circular fashion system presents an opportunity for the industry to re-invent itself and right its wrongs: using materials that are safe, renewable and restorative, focusing on physical and emotional product durability and ultimately closing the loop on textile-to-textile recycling. For C&A, a circular fashion system presents the opportunity to eliminate the concept of waste entirely.
Barriers to scaling effective circular systems
The team at C&A understand that a circular flow of materials is a key principle of the circular economy, yet they recognise significant technical barriers that exist in textile-to-textile recycling. In turn the company believes that we need investment in innovative solutions to accelerate recycling processes that preserve fibre quality, alongside establishing transparent high-quality waste flows. For C&A, policy is an important lever here, to present the concept of waste as a valuable resource and to support the development of infrastructure for the trading and recycling of waste.
Moreover, the company has identified the urgent need for mindset shifts in order to transition away from embedded industry practices that don’t support a circular economy. For C&A, increased collaboration and transparency along the entire value chain is a must.
C&A’s Circular Fashion Partnership Activities
By 2028, C&A is committed to connecting 7 out of 10 of its products to principles of circularity. Alongside circular product design and new business models, a key pillar of this goal is to focus on scaling high quality recycled materials within its supply chain. During the first phase of the Circular Fashion Partnership, C&A piloted the Reverse Resources platform with key suppliers in Bangladesh to trace clipping waste from garment manufacturing to recycling partners. The company is now in the second phase of the Circular Fashion Partnership, where it has scaled its programme of garment manufacturers, using the Reverse Resources platform to trace their waste.
The Circular Fashion Partnership has allowed C&A to test the hypothesis of a circular material loop, within a localised system. On one hand, it has demonstrated how the organisation can establish a transparent supply of high-quality post-industrial waste into C&A products. On the other hand, it has highlighted to the company the barriers and complexity – even in a localised system – that still exist within the industry to closing the material loop. C&A recognises that without further cross-sectoral collaboration, carving the way to a circular economy will not be possible.
With over 1,300 stores in 17 European countries and more than 25,000 employees, C&A is one of Europe’s leading fashion retailers. Every day, C&A welcomes about two million visitors to its stores in Europe and offers quality fashion at affordable prices for the whole family. For further information, please visit our website: https://www.c-and-a.com
C&A 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.
BESTSELLER 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 BESTSELLER.
The importance of a circular fashion system for BESTSELLER
BESTSELLER believes that transitioning to circular fashion systems presents enormous potential for the company to lower its impact and become less dependent on virgin resources. This will require replacing the traditional linear model of take-make-waste with circular solutions that safeguard the world’s finite resources and eliminate waste. To be able to grow as an organisation, BESTSELLER recognises the need to rely more on circular fashion systems in the future to decouple turnover from its overall impact.
The BESTSELLER Sustainability Report 2021 outlines its ambitions to scale its circular systems, with the goal to phase out single use virgin plastic wherever possible by 2025. Its business model will be based on design principles that prioritise efficiency and the reuse of resources at every level, from fibres to water and chemicals to post-consumer, in order to minimise waste and keep resources in use.
Barriers to scaling effective circular systems
Based on learnings from the Circular Fashion Partnership, BESTSELLER identified that the key barrier to scaling effective circular systems in Bangladesh is the informal waste system. The company identifies that this needs to be addressed to complement its efforts and recognises the need to work together as an industry to build an infrastructure for pre-consumer waste which is inclusive of all stakeholders in the supply chain, without neglecting anyone. The purpose of this would be to make the supply chain more transparent and ensure that waste goes back into new products.
BESTSELLER’S Circular Fashion Partnership Activities
As part of the Circular Fashion Partnership, BESTSELLER has been – and still is – engaging with suppliers and recyclers to increase the use of pre-consumer waste – making sure that it ends up in new products. Together BESTSELLER wants to increase the mix of materials currently being used for recycling. Today, it identifies a high focus on only 100 percent cotton waste but wants to challenge the status quo and find a lasting destination for mixed materials as well.
Additionally, BESTSELLER – together with the manufacturers – makes sure that there are clear business incentives for the segregation and sorting of waste and supports the work to engage with the informal sector within circular fashion systems in Bangladesh.
BESTSELLER is an international family-owned fashion company with a strong foundation. The company has more than 18,000 dedicated employees globally and provides fashion clothing and accessories for all ages, genders and occasions.
BESTSELLER’s ultimate ambition is to bring ‘Fashion FWD’ until it is climate positive, fair for all and circular by design, and sees collaboration as the key to finding solutions and making lasting changes. With sustainability as a prerequisite for ongoing business success, BESTSELLER is investing in innovation and working in partnerships across the value chain.
For more information, visit bestseller.com
BESTSELLER 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.
Peak Performance 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 Peak Performance.
The importance of a circular fashion system for Peak Performance
Peak Performance recognises the inflection point the fashion industry finds itself at – a pivotal moment of re-evaluation on how resources and products are considered. For the organisation, wasting finite materials is no longer an option – neither for people nor for the planet, and it acknowledges that the only way to stay within the planetary boundaries is to shift towards circularity.
The brands Sustainability Performance Report 2021 reiterated its devotion to reaching 100% circular product by 2030. Transitioning to a circular fashion system gives Peak Performance the opportunity to keep doing business without relying on nature to pay the price for it. The team at Peak Performance understand the complexity of this transition and the effort that is needed from growers, manufacturers, designers, end users, and everyone who is directly and indirectly involved in the process. They believe that the only way to succeed in this shift is by working together and educating everyone, including the end-user.
Barriers to scaling effective circular systems
When we spoke to Peak Performance, they outlined three key barriers to scaling effective circular systems that must be addressed to complement their efforts:
For the brand, full supply chain transparency is key, both to understand the challenges but also to be able to communicate to and educate the end consumers. To address this, there needs to be a mindset shift around the value of resources and how we use them by implementing circular design practices within the product development process.
The brand recognises that the research gap is still rather big, but that it will play a crucial role in the future. Accordingly, Peak Performance recognises that collaboration within the industry is imperative to push the limits of technological innovation. That’s precisely why it invests in projects like the Circular Fashion Partnership which provide a platform for sharing successes and mistakes and supporting each other.
Handling, collecting and sorting post-consumer waste is another part of the challenge. However, this opens opportunities for new business models, which is something the brand will continue to explore going forward.
Peak Performance’s Circular Fashion Partnership Activities
Peak Performance has been a part of our Circular Fashion Partnership alongside various fibre recyclers and over 20 other brands sharing the passion of innovation, creativity, and new solutions. The result for Peak Performance was a t-shirt using around half of fibre-to-fibre recycled cotton – a great achievement in increasing the usage of circular materials. This is just the beginning as the brand seeks to continue this work.
Peak Performance will stay on as a Supporting Partner and is looking forward to the extension of program to Vietnam where a pre-feasibility study on synthetic material post-production waste has just been completed. Peak Performance believes synthetics are a massive part of the industry and has a goal to enable people to stay active, making this an exciting project with important findings for them.
The brand is delighted to be able to show progress in this field as it believes this is the future. Having some of its suppliers onboard to strengthen its collaboration and move forward together is something the organisation is proud of. Peak Performance testified just how much inspiration projects like this give its long-term partners and suppliers, as well as its own teams within the organisation. For the brand, this is a business opportunity with expansion in the right direction for the future.
About Peak Performance
Founded in 1986, Peak Performance was born out of a vision for stylish, functional, durable, timeless and high-quality skiwear. Now the brand is a frontrunner in designing innovative products for both a dynamic city life and outdoor activities such as skiing, running and golf.
Peak Performance 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.
This plastic-free July, we wanted to talk about material choices in the clothes we wear.
Choosing and using the right fibres and materials is key to limiting the far-ranging implications for the biosphere.
The conduct of the fashion industry does not only affect ecosystems, but also brings risks for farmers working in fields and workers in factories. The impact can range from health implications of the use of hazardous chemicals, to unsafe working conditions and inconsistent income.
Polyester is a textile technologist’s dream come true. It is a low-cost fibre, readily available, and durable. It also has technical performance properties that cannot be replicated using natural materials only. Due to these, among other reasons, polyester was the single most popular fibre worldwide in 2020 (52 per cent).
However, polyester is made from oil, it is energy intensive, and its sheer quantity contributes significantly to today’s global waste problem. In addition, it can end up in the natural environment in the shape of “microplastics” or small plastic particles that may pose a high risk to human and marine health.
Globally, between 200,000 and 500,000 tonnes of synthetic fibres from textiles are released into the marine environment each year. The washing of synthetic fibres, such as polyester, causes up to 35 per cent of all plastic microfibre pollution in the oceans. Furthermore, the way synthetics and other chemically intensive materials are manufactured today can involve hazardous working conditions.
If brands want to keep using polyester and other synthetic fibres (and there is every indication that they do) things will have to change. New and innovative ways of working with these materials must be developed and implemented, from sourcing and decent working conditions to waste management.
Download your copy of the GFA Monitor here.
Through our Innovation Forum, we connect fashion companies with sustainable solution providers; we explored some of the newest technologies and innovations to help combat the most pressing issues of the fashion industry right now.
Keep reading to find out more about some of our solution providers
Natural Fiber Welding is a material innovation company helping the industry use inherently circular, natural materials. They fundamentally changing the way materials are made with novel technologies for bonding, mixing, and forming plant-based inputs into sustainable, high-performance materials.
InResST is a low-carbon company that focuses on the feasibility research, development, production and promotion of ocean plastics used in textiles. Their recycled nylon staple fiber products are mainly derived from ghost fishing nets, generated by deep-sea fishery activities, recycling by a mechanical way which are then produced by a zero-carbon factory.
Recyctex is a textile innovation company specialising in sustainable fabrics. Their core products are made from ReTraze yarn, a branded recycled and traceable material in thw form of recycled nylon and upcycling from abandoned ghost fishnets and plastic collected from islands and mountains. In 2022, they launched BioPlanTex, a bio-based and plant-based leather alternative vegan material.
Upcycle Labs turns fashion’s biggest problem – waste – into additional revenue for brands and retailers. Their innovative technology turns fashion waste into products and produces quality contemporary décor, shop fittings and interior related products made of discarded fashion inventory from luxury brands.
Balena is a material science company, developing compostable and biodegradable thermoplastic materials. They are on a mission to create a circular model for consumer goods products and solve one of the fashion industry’s biggest challenges: the products’ end of life.
Millions of garments are being dumped into landfills or being burnt every year, polluting the earth and the oceans with dangerous microplastics that will not biodegrade for hundreds of years. Balena’s answer to this is BioCir™ material. BioCir™ is a flexible and fully compostable thermoplastic material, reducing toxic, fossil fuel-based materials used in the fashion and footwear industries.
Explore the entire innovation forum here.