Why is a circular economy for textiles important?
Textiles have long been an integral part of our daily lives and society, with diverse products ranging from fashion and apparel to healthcare items, industrial fabrics, and car upholstery. Today’s fashion industry is valued at US$1.3 trillion dollars, employing more than 300 million people globally.
But the sector’s significant use of finite resources and toxic chemicals, as well as issues such as conditions for garment workers producing fast fashion, are under increasing scrutiny. Meanwhile, billions of products go to waste: unsold in warehouses or stores, left unused in wardrobes, or discarded while still in good condition. There is urgent need for transformation. Each year people throw away apparel worth an estimated $460 billion that they could continue to wear. Trends such as fast fashion heighten the issue, producing high volumes of low-quality fashion items that are difficult to recycle. If the average number of times a garment is worn were doubled, greenhouse gas emissions from textiles would be 44% lower.
A circular economy for textiles, fashion, and apparel is important because it aims to eliminate waste in the textiles industry, championing resource reuse and bringing clear benefits for natural resources, economic wellbeing, and the health and safety of the people who produce and dispose of our textiles.
Year we were founded
Fashion industry value
Wasted apparel annually