RREUSE, the European network of social enterprises active in re-use, repair and recycling, is organising its third annual conference, in collaboration with the Spanish social enterprise network AERESS and Traperos de Emaús Navarra. This unique event will focus on strategies supporting longer-lasting products through re-use and repair that create local inclusive jobs, provide green products and services and contribute positively to well-being in our society.
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Clothing and Fashion industry
Creating a Digital Roadmap for a Circular Economy
The EU faces multiple challenges (climate crisis, environmental disasters, a lack of competitiveness, falling behind in the digital race, etc.) that it will need to address if it is to ensure long-term sustainable prosperity for European citizens. At the same time, there are two ongoing transitions – the creation of a circular economy and the digital transformation – that could provide the means to address these challenges, if they are managed well.
As the EU and national policymakers are making significant efforts to promote a circular economy on the one hand and a digital economy on the other, Annika Hedberg and Stefan Šipka, together with Johan Bjerkem, argue that it is time to align the agendas as a means to achieve greater sustainability and competitiveness.
- demonstrates what digitalisation means in the context of a circular economy;
- considers what a greater focus on sustainability would mean for the digital transition;
- examines the role of the EU policy framework, tools and initiatives in steering a (digital) transition towards a (digital) circular economy and makes recommendations for EU institutions for the next five year.
It suggests that the EU must:
- think systemically, define a vision and act;
- provide an adequate governance framework and economic incentives for a (digital) transition to a (digital) circular economy;
- encourage collaboration across European society and economy as well as globally, and empower its citizens to contribute to the transition.
This Discussion Paper builds on the findings of the EPC’s "Digital Roadmap for a Circular Economy" project of 2017-19 and paves the way for a more extensive final study, scheduled to be published in the late autumn of 2019.
The project has been supported by Aalto University and the Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke) (members of Helsinki EU Office), Central Denmark region, Climate-KIC, the Estonian Ministry of the Environment, Estonian Environment Investment Centre, HP, Orgalim, the province of Limburg, UL, Fondazione Cariplo and Cariplo Factory.
To help inspire conversation and policy action concerning inclusive circular business models during the next EU Commission mandate, RREUSE invited EU decision makers to a closed site visit to Les Petits Riens, a Brussels-based social enterprise with activities dating back to 1937.
The 2019 edition of the International Stewardship forum is co-organized in Paris by DASTRI and the GlobalPSC with the following objectives:
- sharing the experience of different countries regarding the implementation and development of Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) and Product Stewardship (PS) schemes
- thinking about how to create value beyond the end-of-life management of products
- initiating a prospective reflection on the future of these EPR schemes.
Circular economy in cities - Products factsheets
These factsheets outline circular economy opportunities to design out urban waste and pollution, ensure products and materials maintain their value, and regenerate the natural systems in our cities.
Easy-to-reference, the factsheets are a collation of research and case examples that answer some of the most prevalent questions around what circular economy can bring to cities:
- Why is change in cities needed?
- What circular economy opportunities address key urban system issues?
- What can urban policymakers do to harness circular economy opportunities?
- What are the potential economic, social, and environmental benefits of these opportunities?
The whole collection of factsheets, by system and phase, is available on the Ellen Mac Arthur Foundation website.
Lopyanko's Agri_Gaya'18 project aims at developing sustainable and circular exploitation of the bombix mori (silkworm) in Northern Bulgaria. Besides the production of organic silk and other valuable byproducts, the project establishes protective forest belts of mulberry trees, an agroforestry model particularly well-suited to the Danube Region.
Lena is the first fashion library of the Netherlands, where you can borrow clothing with a subscription, or buy through the try-before-you-buy principle. An endless wardrobe with the benefits of a fast changing wardrobe, placed in a sustainable context.
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.
Love them, wear them out, wear them again: full repair service is part of this eco-responsible shoe line
Kavat produces durable and high-quality shoes made of sustainable materials by resorting to eco-friendly manufacturing processes, and also offers a shoe repair service.
gocircularnow - a campaign for consumers
#gocircularnow (GCN) is a consumer-focused campaign to advance the transition to a circular economy. It encourages a more sustainable way of living and consuming that’s realistic, affordable and simple to incorporate.
As part of this movement, GCN provides consumers with the information and means needed to ask their favourite brands to #gocircularnow, while providing clarity on the many different ways in which circularity can be of benefit to their daily lives.
GCN also promotes makers currently operating within the structures of circular production, bringing them to the attention of consumers so they can be seen as viable alternatives to non-circular brands.
Its mix of engaging content and opinion communicates in ways that take the conversation around sustainability out of its current ‘eco-bubble’, connecting with everyday realities to make conscious consumption the new normal.
MaterialDistrict: a unique match-making platform for innovative materials
MaterialDistrict is a unique platform for innovative materials which empowers global innovation by match-making material needs with material solutions in the name of circularity. R&D and design professionals of all industrial sectors use this platform to discover new material solutions daily via MaterialDistrict's independent collection of materials, annually at MaterialDistrict Rotterdam and periodically throughout the year with travelling MaterialDistrict Expo, MaterialDistrict Talks and MaterialDistrict Pop-Up events.
Roubaix's Circular Economy Route Map
After the 2014 elections, the new Roubaix municipality team wanted to change the image of its city and encourage a positive attitude towards both its inhabitants and France as a whole.
The roadmap aims at turning difficulties into advantages, generating a new dynamic. Based on the Sustainable development strategy (since 2003), a zero waste policy is progressively implemented with a focus on cooperation and awareness raising among the stakeholders.
The approach is global, even if some activities are implemented on a micro-scale (budget issue), mostly at the level of a city sub-district (Fresnoy-Mackellerie).
To enable the entire City of Roubaix to experience the transition to a zero waste economy, projects are open and accessible to all categories of population and businesses. This is reflected in the way the projects are designed and co-developed, and how the City communicates about them.
Some concrete solutions are tested on an everyday basis and feedback is already shared with others (zero waste family program, zero waste business label, zero waste festival…).
Generally speaking, the City of Roubaix wants :
- to have the largest possible audience sharing the zero waste concepts, to match activities that could bring new dynamics into this field and make it happen. The more people share the same values the better;
- to multiply the interaction at different levels (inhabitants, institutions, businesses) but also to keep a global coherent approach;
- to minimize the production of waste, by changing consumer’s behaviour, retailer distribution methods and the design and processing used by the companies;
- to make the remaining and really unavoidable waste enter a circular loop.
The Sustainable Angle’s Future Fabrics Expo is the largest dedicated showcase of sustainable materials for the fashion and textile industry in Europe.
The Circular Fashion Games: one programme, two bootcamps. Team up and join the creative ecosystems in Eindhoven and Amsterdam to reshape the fashion industry and shift it towrards the circular economy.
CIRCULAR BRANDS is a pioneering program designed to empower the top brands in NL to make circular brand and business innovation reality. Register for the next workshop in Amsterdam on September 20th - there's place for 6 more brand teams to join and accelerate their transformation in becoming circular brand leaders, creating business growth and positive impact by driving the circular economy culture.
Van Hulley is a Dutch SME that upcycles worn-out shirts into boxershorts, employing disadvantaged women as seamstresses every year and training them to join the labour market more permanently.
Infinited Fiber has developed a process technology that can turn cotton rich textile waste into new fibers for the textile industry. Not just once, but infinitely. Infinited Fiber can be recycled again and again without decreasing the quality of the fiber.
Model of circular business ecosystem for textiles
The Relooping Fashion Initiative (2015-2017) was aimed at piloting and modelling the circular business ecosystem for textiles. This report covers the business ecosystem modelling work and introduces the project team’s crystallized vision of a higher-level system that enables the textiles industry to operate according to the basic principles of a circular economy.
The focus of the report is on explaining the principles of a circular economy in the context of textiles, and drawing a picture of the key material flows and types of actors along the value cycles from end-user back to end-user. The overall goal is to maintain the value of materials as high as possible, with minimum environmental impact. The different circular business models for textiles are introduced along the value cycles. The report covers 1) repair and maintenance, 2) re-use as product, 3) re-use as material, and 4) recycling-related activities, and business models for post-consumer/user textiles along the entire value chain.
All these processes need to work seamlessly together for the circular business ecosystem to function effectively. New recycling technologies are crucial to solving the global textile waste problem, and to be able to replace some of the virgin materials such as cotton with recycled textile materials. The report also discusses the topic of shared value creation in the circular economy context.
ShareWear, a part of the Swedish Democreativity initiative, was launched to inspire a sustainable way to be fashionable. A ready-to-share collection with Swedish fashion items allowed consumers to borrow unique clothing - but only if they shared it forward.
CelluTex is a Swedish advocacy platform that promotes needed actions to ensure production of cellulose-based textiles in Europe, utilizing forest resources and recycled cellulosic textiles, including cotton, as raw materials.
Re:newcell's technology dissolves used cotton and other natural fibers into a new, biodegradable raw material, re:newcell pulp. It can be turned into textile fiber, be fed into the textile production cycle and meet industry specifications. This is the link that has been missing from the cycle, as the way fashion is produced and consumed can finally be transformed into a never-ending loop.
Zippers and buttons make garment recycling complicated as the removal of such details calls for manual assistance, making the process both costly and time consuming. Resortecs® solves this problem by supplying a thread that simply dissolves at a high temperature.
The ECOALF foundation has embarked upon its most ambitious project to date: Upcycling the Oceans, an unprecedented worldwide adventure that is helping to remove up to 200 tonnes of waste from the bottom of the oceans thanks to the support of over 3000 fishermen.