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The circular Fashion Ecosystem: A blueprint for the future

By: Institute of Positive Fashion, British Fashion Council and Arts & Humanities Research Council
Published: 2021
Access full report here.

Executive Summary abstract

In 2020, the British Fashion Council launched the Institute of Positive Fashion (IPF) to create a new industry standard for accountability by acting as a catalyst for change in this, the Decade to Deliver. The Circular Fashion Ecosystem Project (CFE) is the inaugural project from the IPF.

The need for change
The Sixth Assessment Report of the IPCC sends a stark message – time is running out to prevent catastrophic climate change, with some experts stating that society has four years to deliver urgent and radical action.

The fashion and textiles industry is the joint third highest emitter of greenhouse gases globally, accounting for around 5% of global emissions. In addition, it consumes 98 million tonnes of non-renewable resources every year, and uses 93 billion cubic metres of water annually. Fashion is a complex industry with extensive, often opaque, global supply chains whose environmental and social impacts reverberate across the globe. These impacts have been exacerbated by the global pandemic as a dramatic reduction in the demand for fashion items resulted in mountains of unsold inventory. This has exposed just how dependent the fashion industry is on its status quo of overconsumption and has shed light on the critical need for change.

What we need to do
Presented here are three target outcomes for a future circular fashion ecosystem in the UK. Combined, they make up the target state for the circular fashion ecosystem and allow for its long-term viability, resilience, and prosperity:

  • TARGET OUTCOME 1: Reduced volume of new physical clothing
  • TARGET OUTCOME 2: Maximised utilisation through product circularity
  • TARGET OUTCOME 3: Optimised sorting methods and materials recover

Read more at the full report.

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