“If you don’t wear garbage, you are wearing a barrel of oil,” Simone Colombo, Head of Corporate Sustainability, OVS.
With that quote, Colombo described the challenges of the textile industries shift to a circular economy from consumer perception of recycled garments to the lack of scalable technology that addresses the whole supply chain from start to finish. OVS was one of the first brands to sign on to P4G Partnership Circular Fashion Partnership (CFP). CFP works with brands, manufacturers and recyclers to capture textile waste from the production of ready-made garments back into the production of new fashion products.
On March 10, P4G’s Director of Strategy and Engagement, Leila Yim Surratt, spoke at a webinar “Sustainable Textiles: Building back better and greener – financial tools & alternative business models,” in which panelists underscored the need for a paradigm shift in the textiles industry through partnerships for a green, equitable transition. The Consul General of Denmark in New York, Ambassador Berit Basse, and Danish Climate Ambassador Tomas Christensen opened the session by highlighting Denmark’s push for a sustainable textile industry through innovative public-private partnerships and trade models.
The discussion centered on the sector’s challenges to reduce pollution and waste, especially as COVID-19 has constrained financial resources. Panelists advocated for a multi-tiered approach to greening the industry throughout the supply chain. Transformative change requires biological solutions to decrease waste and pollution during production, such as Novozymes’ GeoTowels project which eliminates harsh chemicals using a new enzymatic process that avoids wastewater pollution and reduces energy use. The industry must also pursue financial stimulus to protect workers, and the right messaging to encourage consumers to recycle garments.
Yim Surratt highlighted that no one actor can tackle this crisis alone, reinforcing the need for effective partnerships that truly engage industry leaders. P4G’s approach, exemplified by the Circular Fashion Partnership and Sustainable Future for Textile Factories, enables a more resilient textiles ecosystem whereby innovative partnerships deliver environmental sustainability and economic progress. The webinar underscored P4G’s key role as leading a collaborative approach that will transform the industry.
The webinar was co-hosted by the Danish Consulate in New York, the Tishman Environment and Design Center at the New School, and The Trade Council.
You can watch the full session here.