New €3.6 million textiles project to reduce clothing waste across Europe

Clothe checking (Foto: IGC / Axion)

Banbury, UK — A new project led by WRAP aims to increase environmental and economic benefits by reducing the carbon, water and waste footprints of clothing in the EU. To reduce clothing waste, the European Clothing Action Plan (ECAP), a €3.6 million EU Life funded pilot project, will work with brands, retailers, manufacturers, reuse and recycling organisations, charities and consumers to design and specify products for longer life and closed loop production.

Furthermore the project wants to ensure that less clothing goes to incineration and landfill, encourage consumers to buy less clothing and use it for longer and improve innovation in resource-efficient design and service models to encourage business growth in the sector.

The three year project involves WRAP working in partnership with Made-By, Rijkswaterstaat (part of the Dutch ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment), Danish Fashion Institute and LWARB to divert over 90 thousand tonnes per year of clothing waste from landfill and incineration across Europe by March 2019.

To achieve this, ECAP, which is based on the principles of WRAP’s Sustainable Clothing Action Plan (SCAP) in the UK, will ask signatories to the agreement to measure success against a set of ambitious targets. The initial countries that ECAP will be active in are Denmark, Finland, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania, Spain, Sweden, UK, and there are further plans to expand into other countries in Europe and Asia.

Dr Liz Goodwin OBE, CEO, WRAP commented: “Finding more sustainable ways to work with textiles is an area set to deliver huge benefits – both economic and environmental. To be leading on a project of this magnitude is something I am very excited about, and applying tried and tested approaches such as voluntary agreements and consumer campaigns across Europe, will really take our expertise to the next level. I look forward watching this initiative progress”.

Allanna McAspurn, CEO, Made-By underlined: “It is Made-By’s mission to make sustainable fashion common practice and we are delighted to have the opportunity to use our 11 years of experience working with brands and retailers to help create a framework for sustainable fashion across Europe”.

Arjan de Zeeuw, Director of Environment, Rijkswaterstaat, stated: “In the Netherlands Rijkswaterstaat is working on the Dutch national program From Waste to Resource. This program will give a boost to the circular economy, recycling and resource efficiency in several supply chains. One of the priorities is textiles, which can set an example for other supply chains. The textiles supply chain is operating on a global scale, international cooperation will strengthen the activities of all stakeholders towards sustainability.”

Jonas Eder-Hansen, VP & Development Director, Danish Fashion Institute, added: “Up to 80 percent of a garment’s environmental impact is decided in the design phase. Only few designers and product developers realise their potential to create sustainable change through their decision. As part of ECAP, DAFI is excited to create an online learning platform for designers and product developers to fulfil their potential and design for longevity. The results will build on DAFI’s long tradition for working with designers through its Fashion Source library of eco and innovative materials.”

Wayne Hubbard, Chief Operating Officer, LWARB, said:

“London’s participation in this project presents a hugely exciting opportunity for the capital to be recognised as a sustainable fashion hub with its thriving fashion industry, world-leading educational establishments for designers, stylists, fashion journalists and photographers, a huge uniformed workforce and some of the most switched-on consumers in Europe. LWARB is delighted to be involved to test and showcase what works, learn from others and then share our experience with other large European cities.”

Source: Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP)