Developing solutions for a Circular Economy in the Textile Sector

women clothing is hanged on the rack

Since the implementation of the internationally visible Detox campaign (Greenpeace) and the devastating collapse of the Rana Plaza factory building in Bangladesh in 2013, textile and clothing industry players have come under increasing pressure to minimize negative environmental and social impacts along the supply chain. The trend towards "fast fashion" in the textile sector leads to growing amounts of textile waste that must be disposed of properly. Shifting towards a circular economy will play a crucial role in preserving valuable resources while also decreasing negative environmental impacts along the entire lifecycle of textile products.

Against this background, the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) has launched the sectoral project "Sustainability in textile supply chains," implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH. The project aimed to improve the role of German development cooperation in the field of sustainability in textile supply chains by providing direct advice and support to the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). Another important part of the project was the support of the Partnership for Sustainable Textiles.

Together with the Cradle to Cradle Association, adelphi developed solutions for implementing a circular economy in the textile industry. The project’s analysis focuses on the current status of circularity in the textile sector across Germany and other EU member states and explores solutions for and challenges to implementing closed-loop strategies in the industry. In close cooperation with endorsed experts - through interviews and a technical symposium at the Cradle to Cradle Congress 2018 - the project partners were exploring new implementation options while providing recommendations for German development cooperation.

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