Circular Economy: The Future Of The Textile Industry

TW Special Report

Regeneration, along with a commitment towards limiting wasted resources by optimizing every phase of the production process; the circular economy model is now a global objective, included among the themes of fundamental importance in Agenda 2030 for sustainable development launched by the United Nations.

The core of the circular economy is the transformation of waste, beginning with prudently managing resources. Applying this paradigm to the textile sector signifies:

  • reducing waste management and disposal costs;
  • cutting down on the cost of materials;
  • limiting the use of non-renewable resources; and
  • consequently reducing environmental impact.

From a more general green economy outlook, the responses of people and businesses are increasingly important. Whereas upcycling in the textile sector is the new trend, there’s a need for an ongoing and concrete commitment by all players involved.

In 2018 the global fashion industry produced around 2.1 billion tons of greenhouse gas emissions: that’s 4 percent of the overall total. Moreover, due to increasingly lower prices and revenue losses — caused by overstocks, stockouts and product returns — profit margins for major clothing retailers worldwide fell on average by 40 percent from 2016 to 2019. In 2020 this trend was further enhanced by the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, which highlighted the fragility of fashion supply chain and has seen the industry suffer a whopping 90-percent drop in profits since 2019 (as reported by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation).

In terms of environmental impact, according to the European Environment Agency (EEA) 87 percent of textile waste worldwide ends up in landfills or incinerated, with less than 1 percent being recycled. As such, the UN’s plan is a call to all businesses and manufacturers, who have already responded by adopting an increasingly virtuous path towards people and the planet, weaving a viable route for the future of the textile sector on a global scale.

The contribution of ACIMIT — the Association of Italian Textile Industry Machinery Manufacturers — is part of this virtuous solution, and is concretely materialized in the Green Label. Conceived as part of the Sustainable Technologies, ACIMIT’s Green Label marks an essential step on the road towards sustainability and a circular economy.

The Green Label rewards the commitment by Italian textile machinery manufacturers to valorize solutions that respond to the need for sustainability. By measuring the energy and environmental performance of textile machinery, the Green Label certifies a machine’s value and eco-friendly efficiency, thereby providing a benchmark for its efficacy within the production cycle – as well as the manufacturer’s competitiveness on the market.

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This sponsored content was provided by the Italian Trade Agency (ITA).

May 10, 2022