The fashion industry can become 80 per cent circular by 2030 with increased investment in existing recycling technologies and infrastructures, says Global Fashion Agenda. Pre-competitive collaborations can play a critical role in accelerating the industry’s transition to sustainable and inclusive growth. Major recycling technologies deliver better environmental outcomes. Plus, all technologies have the potential to be more cost effective than using corresponding virgin materials if they are scaled. Current technologies have the potential to deliver 75 per cent textile-to-textile recycling into the fashion system, and a further five per cent recycled feedstock from other industries.
Through convening influential players throughout the fashion value cycle, developing traceability of waste streams and aligning on mutual incentives, pre-competitive collaborations play a unique role in assuring supply, demand and attracting commercial investment where it is needed at pace. The necessary recycling technologies exist, deliver huge improvements in environmental impact and economics work at scale. The challenge is providing conditions for scaling. With sufficient investment, supportive policies, and by enabling pre-competitive collaborations, it is possible to create a profitable circular system and accelerate fashion’s journey to net zero. The Circular Fashion Partnership in Bangladesh is a cross-sectoral project to scale post-industrial recycling and capture textile value domestically in Bangladesh.