Over the coming decade a transformative shift of the European textile value chain and end markets
from a linear to a circular model is expected to happen driven by regulatory pressures (e.g. the EU’s Green Deal), resource efficiency and cost concerns and consumer demand. Currently the EU textile and clothing industry is ill-prepared for this transformation lacking robust circular design and product development competences, technologies for efficient recycling of textile waste and re-processing of recovered materials into new products and functioning circular business models. Also common measurements, technical standards, harmonised data generation and information exchange system as well as robust regulations and public procurement rules are needed to
create a fair level playing field and make the shift to a circular system technically and economically feasible for all players along the European fibre, textile, clothing value chain as well as their technology and service providers.
In that context, the European Textile Platform (ETP) has launched a Strategic Programme dedicated to Circular Economy. The objective of this programme is to bring key players from industry, technology, and research around a common table to:
- Assess the technical and industrial state-of-the-art of textile recycling in Europe;
- Assess carbon and other resource footprints of the main textile materials/processes;
- Develop the main elements for a successful circular textile business model;
- Systematically map key players and their capacities at all stages of the value chain as well as all enabling technology and service domains, such as chemistry, machinery, IT, waste management etc.
- Identify and connect demonstration and pilot plants across Europe to create critical mass in textile waste collection, process in and supply of recycled materials;
- Identify critical knowledge and technology gaps and initiate publicly and privately funded projects to close them;
- Develop a comprehensive and realistic European technology roadmap for textile circularity;
- Work closely with EURATEX and the European Commission to provide technical input to circular economy regulation.
The exploration phase has just started with the first webinar. A possible start of the strategy phased is scheduled for April 2021. ESMA joined the programme to participate in information exchange and know-how gain to further promote circular economy solutions in our industry sector, as well as to actively participate in setting up the terms of reference for sustainable textile printing.