With the world population expected to exceed 8.5 billion people and global garment production to increase by 63% by 2030 - the equivalent of 500 billion shirts - the current business model of the fashion industry is unsustainable. Ultimately, 81% of all textiles are incinerated or dumped in landfills (either after being used by consumers or due to excess stock) while only 1% is recycled into new material. There can be up to 50% waste in the production of clothes alone. Implications of COVID-19 have also caused huge amounts of excess stock in warehouses, in textile-manufacturing countries such as Bangladesh, Vietnam and Indonesia, as well as across the value chain. Indications are, that almost a third of this stock could ultimately be incinerated or dumped in landfills. However, there is significant opportunity for this excess stock to be repurposed or recycled, giving an economic incentive for factories and brands to use the leftovers.
The Circular Fashion Partnership model works with factories, recyclers and major fashion brands to capture and direct fashion waste back into the production of new fashion products to simultaneously increase the use of recycled materials and grow revenues at every part of the circular supply chain. This partnership aims to significantly reduce waste and the depletion of natural resources and CO2 emissions related to the production of textiles and footwear in Bangladesh and beyond, by accelerating the transition to a circular fashion business model.
The partnership will build on results from its initial phase where 12.5% of the global market for fashion was mobilized to start transitioning their business model to the circular business model by committing to targets and timelines. With P4G Scale-Up support, the partnership will mobilize the global market for fashion to accelerate this transition. Additionally, the partnership will partner with manufacturers, brands and recyclers to develop a model that directs excess stock and textile manufacturing waste, including that which arose due to COVID-19, into circular supply chains, thus avoiding incineration or dumping in landfills. The partnership will also help to accelerate the fiber recycling market and production in Bangladesh, which could lead to a tenfold increase in value-capture of the waste materials. The potential impact of this partnership is immense with a 15% reduction in carbon, water footprint and in waste to landfills, as well as a 20% increase in clothing made from 100% recycled materials, among participating brands.
Global Fashion Agenda, Reverse Resources, Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA)