Make Fashion a Circular Economy. Ellen MacArthur Foundation.

Clothes are an everyday necessity, and for many an important aspect of self-expression. Yet, the way clothes are made and used today is extremely wasteful and polluting. Make Fashion Circular drives collaboration between industry leaders and other key stakeholders to create a textiles economy fit for the 21st century. Its ambition is to ensure clothes are made from safe and renewable materials, new business models increase their use, and old clothes are turned into new. This new textiles economy would benefit business, society, and the environment.

Article from The Ellen MacArthur Foundation.

The report, A new textiles economy: Redesigning fashion’s future, identifies the fashion industry’s current take-make-dispose model as the root cause of its environmental problems and economic value loss. Every second, the equivalent of one garbage truck of textiles is landfilled or burned. An estimated USD 500 billion value is lost every year due to clothing being barely worn and rarely recycled. If nothing changes, by 2050 the fashion industry will use up a quarter of the world’s carbon budget. Washing clothes releases half a million tonnes of plastic microfibres into the ocean every year, equivalent to more than 50 billion plastic bottles.

So how do we fix this? 

This seminal report lays out a vision for a system that not only puts a stop to these damaging trends, but also summons the creative power of the fashion industry to develop a new textiles economy. In such a system, clothes are designed to last longer and be worn more. New business models allow clothes to be rented, resold, or recycled more easily. And no toxic substances or pollutants are released when clothes are produced and used.

Ambitions for a new textiles economy

The report was made possible by the support of industry leaders, including H&M Group, Lenzing, and NIKE Inc. as Core Partners, and C&A Foundation as Philanthropic Partner. More than 40 other influential fashion brands, leading businesses, NGOs, public bodies, and experts also endorsed and contributed to the report.