Hanging on by a thread | How the textiles industry needs to change
In 2016, the UK’s consumers spent over £75bn on clothing, footwear and household textiles, with the global textiles market estimated to be valued at £959 billion by 2025. It’s a vast industry, but a high percentage of these garments end up as waste, as the garments are not designed to be repaired or recycled, thus furthering the environmental impacts on top of those that come from the production stage.
Fast fashion is accelerating and amplifying the environmental issues that surround the textiles industry. In the last decade, the move to ‘fast fashion’ trends has seen multinational retailers releasing up to 24 new clothing collections each year, and this has supported a change in the public’s perception of textile goods as a disposable commodity, with no expectation, or desire, for items to last longer than a season. The increase in production volumes has been substantial, and is amplifying the environmental issues already associated with the industry. So how do we change the way that the public see their clothes, and how do we support a new system where the full life time costs of all types of garment are fully reflected in the price we pay in store?
SUEZ have been working with Oakdene Hollins this last year taking a closer look at the sustainability of the textiles industry, in particular the environmental, social and economic impacts that might happen should more circular business models (from loaning garments, repair solutions and corporate wear recycling schemes), or a more robust extended producer responsibility framework to reflect both environmental and social costs be developed.
This webinar will reflect on the research work done to date, consider how a more robust EPR system could be developed, and discuss how we can build consumer engagement in new models of textiles purchasing and ownership. The panel will go on to talk through how a new framework could be delivered, first through corporate wear recycling programmes, and then on to the high street.