At Copenhagen Fashion Summit 2017, Global Fashion Agenda called on the fashion industry to take action on circularity by signing the 2020 Circular Fashion System Commitment (henceforth 2020 Commitment) as a concrete way to turn words into action and to accelerate the industry’s transition to a circular fashion system.
To set a direction for this transition, Global Fashion Agenda outlined four immediate action points.
1) Implementing design strategies for cyclability
2) Increasing the volume of used garments and footwear collected
3) Increasing the volume of used garments and footwear resold
4) Increasing the share of garments and footwear made from recycled post-consumer textile fibres
As of July 2019, signatories have reached 45 of 213 targets (21%) and set 17 new and/or more ambitious targets across all four action points.
Despite this progress, the fashion industry is still far from sustainable and circular as highlighted in the Pulse of the Fashion industry 2019. The pace of the industry’s sustainability performance has slowed, and sustainability solutions are not implemented fast enough to counterbalance the negative environmental and social impacts of the rapidly growing fashion industry. A strong ecosystem of collaboration is urgently needed to tackle the roadblocks ahead and governments and policymakers must play a strong role in creating a supportive regulatory framework.
“While it’s encouraging to see 12.5% of the global fashion market taking concrete action toward circular business models, we must urgently address major roadblocks collaboratively to pave the way for a systemic shift towards circularity.”– Morten Lehmann, Chief Sustainability Officer, Global Fashion Agenda
SIGNATORIES & TARGETS
Signatories have set their individual targets for 2020 with the minimum requirement of setting a target within one or more of the four action points. Global Fashion Agenda and BSR have provided guidance to signatories on setting targets, however, it is up to each individual company to set its own strategy and ambition-level.
Click on the logos below to view targets or download the Signatories’ Target Matrix for an overview of all targets set by signatories.
Out of 90 signatories, 15 companies did not meet the minimum requirements for year two of the 2020 Commitment: Arvind Limited, Dedicated / Tshirt Store AB, MA RA MI, Mokacioccolatah, NYLSTAR, reflect, Sab Soleil, Salt Gypsy Pty LTd, Shannon South, Star Sock, The Fifth Collection, Tom Cridland, Virtu, Weyler’s Legacy and Wtree Inc..
Global Fashion Agenda has released four toolboxes, one for each action point, which are publicly available and serve as actionable guidance for industry players.
Global Fashion Agenda hosted five webinars supporting signatories in setting, implementing and reaching targets for the four action points of the 2020 Commitment.
CIRCULARITY: GUIDING THE FUTURE OF DESIGN
“Policymakers are increasingly looking towards the fashion and textile industries for good examples and innovative approaches to transitioning to a circular economy. The Year Two Status Reportfor the 2020 Commitmentprovides a rich evidence base for policymakers, bringing forward key learnings on concrete circular fashion actions. It can hopefully serve as inspiration for smart policy initiatives that can help support industry progress.”– Jonas Eder-Hansen, Public Affairs Director, Global Fashion Agenda
POLICY MANIFESTO TO DELIVER A CIRCULAR ECONOMY IN TEXTILES
During year two of the 2020 Commitment, five leading apparel organisations have partnered to call on existing and forthcoming EU policymakers to rethink tools to establish a circular fashion system.
In a unique collaboration between EURATEX (European Apparel and Textile Confederation), Federation of the European Sporting Goods Industry, Global Fashion Agenda, International Apparel Federation and Sustainable Apparel Coalition, the manifesto (published 14 May 2019) stresses the need for the industry to rethink its business model and for policymakers to think beyond existing policy tools that are rooted in a linear economy to resolve the most significant circularity issues for the fashion and textile industries.
Global Fashion Agenda engages with policy makers to co-develop the wider framework necessary for a circular fashion system. A policy brief (published 2017) was developed to inform EU policymakers about the challenges and opportunities for fashion brands in transitioning to a circular fashion system and recommends specific actions for regulators and authorities.
FOCUS ON CIRCULARITY
Fashion is primarily produced in a linear system of take, make, dispose, with 73% of the world’s clothing eventually ending in landfills or being incinerated. Currently, less than 1% of the material used to produce clothing is recycled into new clothing and less than 15% of clothes are collected for recycling (Ellen MacArthur Foundation, 2017). If the fashion industry does not start acting now, the linear model will soon reach its physical limits. According to current forecasts, the world population will exceed 8.5 billion people by 2030, and global garment production will increase by 63%.
The Pulse of the Fashion Industry 2017 report showed that most fashion brands have yet to realise the opportunities that accompany an increased focus on the end-of-use phase of the value chain. An accelerated effort is needed to capture important resources from being wasted and to meet future resource demands. If today’s textile collection rate tripled by 2030, it could be worth more than EUR 4 billion for the world economy. This figure merely represents the value of those products that would not end up in landfills. If the industry were to find a way to collect and recycle all fibres, it would boost the value to EUR 80 billion (Ellen MacArthur Foundation, 2017).
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