Working for a more sustainable textile sector
Partnership between MADE-BY and Rijkswaterstaat (part of the Dutch ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment).
MADE-BY and Rijkswaterstaat are launching a joint European LIFE Project. This project aims at improving the sustainability of the textile supply chain and boosting the circular economy. To achieve this, they are working with partners in England and Denmark. The project has a budget of € 3.6 million. It aims to reduce the amount of clothing entering landfill sites or incinerators in Europe by 90,000 tons per year in 2019.
In Europe, more than nine million tons of waste clothing are landfilled or incinerated each year. The production of new textile has a major environmental impact. Cotton cultivation uses a lot of water and requires chemicals for fertilisers and pesticides. Recycling textile means that fewer virgin materials need to be produced in the future.
MADE-BY and Rijkswaterstaat are working on this European Clothing Action Plan (ECAP) in partnership with the British organisation WRAP, the Danish Fashion Institute and the London Waste and Recycling Board. Together with retailers, fashion brands, consumers, municipalities, textile collectors and recycling companies, they aim to reduce the impact on the environment. The Dutch ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment co-finances the project in the Netherlands.
MADE-BY works with brands and retailers throughout Europe to assess, measure and reduce the environmental impact. Together, they research the sustainability of the fibres, the impact of dying and finishing, the product life of the clothing and consumer behaviour. They provide companies with customised advice on how to improve the sustainability of their collection. "The scope and ambition of this project has the potential to set in motion change and innovation throughout the European clothing industry," says Allanna McAspurn, CEO of MADE-BY.
Rijkswaterstaat focuses on sustainable procurement in the public sector, the use of recycled materials and collection. These activities are linked to the REBus Project, the Category management Rijk Workwear and the national plan of action for improving the sustainability of the sector. All projects in which the Dutch government already plays a key role.
Several projects are being launched in the Netherlands, England and Denmark aimed at getting more recycled clothing into the shops. Several fashion brands have already shown interest in this. "Through its participation in the ECAP project Rijkswaterstaat, the Central government's implementing agency is able to give further substance to the task of making the living environment in the Netherlands more sustainable," says Arjan de Zeeuw, Director Environment at Rijkswaterstaat.