Waste and pollution from the production of textiles and clothing have become critical global issues. With only one percent of fibres being recycled, the current ‘linear’ model is outdated and unsustainable. There is an urgent need for a strategy to transform industry into a circular model.
A new report launched by Ecopreneur.eu, the European Sustainable Business Federation, calls for decisive policy measures to create an enabling framework. With a foreword from Janez Potočnik.
According to the report, a set of policy instruments to accelerate and mainstream a European circular fashion economy should be based on the following five pillars:
- Innovation policies – research programmes with subsidies, investment tax deduction, and support for technological development, innovation and small and medium-sized enterprises.
- Economic incentives – procurement, extended producer responsibility, VAT, and a tax shift to drive market demand for circular products and services.
- Regulation – establishing and enforcing a common regulatory framework for transparency and traceability, circular design and improved end-of-waste status across the EU.
- Trade policies – facilitating export of semi-finished products and sorted, reusable textile waste to producing countries, and avoiding negative social impacts in producing countries.
- Voluntary actions – covenants, commitments and standards are encouraged to engage stakeholders, with legislation standing by in case of lacking results.