United Kingdom – The UK’s Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP) is heading up a new Euro 3.6 million initiative aimed at reducing the carbon, water and waste footprints of clothing in the EU.
Under the so-called European Clothing Action Plan, the pilot project’s team will work with brands, retailers and manufacturers, as well as reuse and recycling organisations, charities and consumers, in a bid to: design and specify products for longer life and closed-loop production; ensure less clothing goes to incineration and landfill; encourage consumers to buy less clothing and use it for longer; and improve innovation in resource-efficient design and service models to encourage business growth in the sector.
The three-year project will see WRAP working in partnership with sustainable fashion organisation MADE-BY, Rijkswaterstaat (part of the Dutch ministry of infrastructure and the environment), the Danish Fashion Institute and the London Waste & Recycling Board to divert over 90 000 tonnes per year of clothing waste from landfill and incineration across Europe by March 2019. Signatories to the action plan agreement will be asked to measure success ‘against a set of ambitious targets’.
Jonas Eder-Hansen, vice president & development director at the Danish Fashion Institute, comments: ‘Up to 80% of a garment’s environmental impact is decided in the design phase. Only a few designers and product developers realise their potential to create sustainable change through their decision.’ As part of the new initiative, he adds, the institute will create an online learning platform for designers and product developers ‘to fulfil their potential and design for longevity’.