The findings are based on independent analysis and learnings from the Circular Fashion Partnership in Bangladesh – a cross-sectoral project to scale post-industrial recycling and capture textile value domestically in Bangladesh – one of the largest garment producing countries in the world.
The research focuses on textile recycling and explains that major recycling technologies deliver better environmental outcomes across GHG emissions, water depletion and land use. Plus, all technologies have the potential to be more cost effective than using corresponding virgin materials if they are scaled.
“This research proves that the necessary recycling technologies exist, deliver huge improvements in environmental impact and that the economics work at scale. The challenge is providing conditions for scaling. With sufficient investment, supportive policies, and by enabling pre-competitive collaborations, I am optimistic that we can create a profitable circular system and accelerate fashion’s journey to net zero,” Federica Marchionni, CEO, Global Fashion Agenda, said.
Current technologies have the potential to deliver 75 per cent textile-to-textile recycling into the fashion system, and a further 5 per cent recycled feedstock from other industries. To deliver this scenario, the sector requires at least $5-7 billion capital investment in recycling technologies by 2026, as well as further mobilisation of capital towards collection and sorting infrastructure.
Pre-competitive collaborations can play a critical role in accelerating the industry’s transition to sustainable and inclusive growth, focusing on the case study of textile recycling, as per Scaling Circularity – a new report which reveals the opportunities and investment required to scale circular fashion systems. In the aftermath of COP26, Global Fashion Agenda (GFA), the leading non-profit for industry collaboration on sustainability in fashion, has published the report in association with McKinsey & Company.
The fashion industry could become 80 per cent circular by 2030 if there is increased investment in existing recycling technologies and infrastructures, said a report by McKinsey & Company. The textile recycling opportunity offers the potential to drive circularity in the fashion value chain, whilst also creating jobs and value for investors.
The research indicates the business case for investing in recycling infrastructure is attractive if there is greater transparency of the demand for recycled materials and the consistent supply of traceable high-quality feedstock. Through convening influential players throughout the fashion value cycle, developing traceability of waste streams and aligning on mutual incentives, pre-competitive collaborations play a unique role in assuring supply, demand and attracting commercial investment where it is needed at pace. The circular fashion partnership demonstrates this.
“Textile recycling must be rapidly scaled to help the fashion industry remain on a 1.5°C pathway. This report emphasises the often-overlooked opportunity for textile recycling in post-industrial waste. It highlights the power of industry stakeholders working together to accelerate change. The circular fashion partnership is proof of the power of pre-competitive collaboration, and its model for impact should be replicated and scaled,” Karl-Hendrik Magnus, senior partner and the leader of the apparel, fashion and luxury group, McKinsey & Company, said.
Fibre2Fashion News Desk (RR)