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WRAP launches textiles waste programme

A new initiative to reduce the carbon, water and waste footprints of textiles industries across 11 European countries has been launched by UK-based resource efficiency NGO, WRAP.

A new initiative to reduce the carbon, water and waste footprints of textiles industries across 11 European countries has been launched by UK-based resource efficiency NGO, WRAP.

The European Clothing Action Plan (ECAP) is a three-year €3.6 million (£2.5 million) pilot project funded by the EU Life scheme.

The project - which will run across Denmark, Finland, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania, Spain, Sweden and the UK - aims to divert over 90,000 tonnes of clothing away from landfill each year by 2019.

Sustainable clothing

It is based on the principles of WRAP’s UK Sustainable Clothing Action Plan (SCAP), which brings together industry, government and the third sector to reduce resource use and set sector-wide targets for the clothing industry. 

The ECAP project will work with brands, retailers, manufacturers, recycling organisations and consumers to:

  • Design and specify products for longer life and closed loop production
  • Encourage consumers to buy less clothing and use clothing for longer
  • Improve innovation in resource efficient design and service models to encourage growth in the sector.

Supply chain boost

Dr Liz Goodwin, chief executive of WRAP, said: “Finding more sustainable ways to work with textiles is an area set to deliver huge benefits - both economic and environmental. I look forward to watching this initiative progress.”

Arjan de Zeeuw, director of environment at Rijkswaterstaat, part of the Dutch infrastructure and environment ministry which is partnering the programme, said: “This programme will give a boost to the circular economy, recycling and resource efficiency in several supply chains.

“The textiles supply chain is operating on a global scale; international cooperation will strengthen the activities of all stakeholders towards sustainability.”

Design focus

The focus on designing out waste in the supply chain is a key part of the project, according to Jonas Eder-Hansen, development director at the Danish Fashion Institute (DAFI), another one of the project partners.

“Up to 80 per cent of a garment’s environmental impact is decided in the design phase. Few designers and product developers realise their potential to create sustainable change through their decisions”, he said.

“As part of ECAP, DAFI is excited to create an online learning platform for designers and product developers to fulfil their potential and design for longevity.”

To find out more about ECAP, click here.