Inside the Circular Fashion Partnership's Mission to Scale Textile Recycling

Inside the Circular Fashion Partnership's Mission to Scale Textile Recycling

The Global Fashion Agenda contributed a case study on the Circular Fashion Partnership for the TrusTrace Traceability Playbook, published in 2022. Below, learn more about this exciting circular economy initiative supported by leading industry groups like the H&M Group, Bestseller and C&A.

The Circular Fashion Partnership (CFP) is a global initiative spurring local action in textile manufacturing countries to accelerate and scale the recycling of post-industrial textile waste. The ambition is to achieve a long-term, scalable, and just transition to a circular fashion industry.

The project facilitates circular commercial collaborations between global fashion brands, manufacturers, and recyclers to enable and incentivize segregation and digital tracing of post-industrial textile waste to recycling solutions. The first CFP was initiated in 2020 in Bangladesh by Global Fashion Agenda, together with the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) and waste traceability platform Reverse Resources with support from Partnership for Green Growth (P4G).

Being able to identify and digitally trace post-industrial textile waste streams, is critical to being able to unlock the opportunities of circular business models within manufacturing countries. “Digital traceability is a critical enabler for the circle economy, and we believe has an important role in achieving a just transition and distributing value fairly across all actors,” says Holly Syrett, director of impact programmes & sustainability at Global Fashion Agenda.

There’s a significant demand from global fashion brands for recycled textiles, yet a very limited supply. Manufacturing countries such as Bangladesh have large quantities of consistent and high-quality textile waste streams that form the perfect feedstock for textile recyclers. Through the Reverse Resources platform, the CFP was able to track over 100 tonnes of textile waste to suitable recycling solutions.

Furthermore, several brand participants were able to go one step further and present the journey of their products made with recycled materials all the way to their end users. “Within the Circular Fashion Partnership, it was through the digital platform of Reverse Resources that we were able to connect waste to recycling solution and present the multi-million dollar opportunity of recycling textile waste domestically,” says Syrett.

By tracing and presenting textile waste streams, the CFP is not just matching the feedstock supply of recycled materials with global brand demand, but also presenting opportunities at scale to increase awareness and create a conducive environment for circularity. In Bangladesh, Reverse Resources estimated it could reduce its virgin cotton imports by 15% and save $500 million USD a year, by recycling its 100% cotton offcuts domestically.

To read more insights from the TrusTrace Traceability Playbook for Fashion Supply Chains, click here. To read our Glossary of Traceability Terms, click here

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