New policies needed to reach circular clothing industry

The clothing industry still works mainly on a linear model. A circular approach for the clothing industry is possible, but then it must happen quickly and help from governments is needed.

This is stated by Ecopreneur, the European Federation of Sustainable Companies, in a report on a circular future for the clothing industry.

According to the organization, 73 percent of all used clothing is currently being burned and only 1 percent of the fibers is recycled. According to Ecopreneur, a number of system changes are needed to become circular. For example, the business models must change and the principle of selling clothing at the lowest price must shift to a model where ‘true pricing’ plays a role. Countries/governments must draw up and maintain rules for circular fashion.

Ecopreneur advocates policies that stimulate innovation: research programs with subsidies, tax credits and a focus on clothing recycling. The true price must be taken into account, which also takes into account the effects and costs of production. Due to economic benefits, circular clothing can become cheaper and “linearly” produced clothing will become more expensive.

Ecopreneur sees an important role for the European Union. A circular clothing economy offers opportunities, both for Europe and for the countries where clothing is produced. A circular clothing economy can generate € 161 billion worldwide. However, the report states that to reap the benefits, the clothing industry must act now!