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Greater Manchester launches waste textiles taskforce

University experts, local authorities, fashion firms and textiles makers will look for solutions to textiles waste in Greater Manchester as part of a new taskforce established in the city region.

The GM Sustainable Textiles and Fashion Group, formed by Manchester Metropolitan University and Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA), aims to bring experts and industry together to reduce the environmental impact of the city region’s fashion and textiles sector.

The industry is the UK’s fourth biggest polluter, with more than 921,000 tonnes of clothes, shoes and other household fabrics ending up in landfill or being incinerated each year.

The taskforce will explore a range of solutions, including evaluating recycling and sorting practices, developing new business markets for recycled textiles, and investigating where technology and innovation can deliver more environmentally and commercially effective processes.  

The first undertaking for the group will be to form an understanding of the scale and nature of the textile waste problem in the city region.

Cllr Martyn Cox, GMCA Lead for Environment, Waste and Recycling, explained:

“The GM Sustainable Textiles and Fashion Group is a fantastic addition to efforts across Greater Manchester to reduce waste. The team will support the development of GMCA’s ambitious Sustainable Consumption Plan, to create a more sustainable, circular city region, where waste is reduced and valued as a resource.

“We know that the products and goods we all consume, and the waste produced after their use has a significant impact on our environment, both inside and outside the city region. By working together, we have a real opportunity to deliver innovative circular solutions to tackle the region’s textile waste problem and help to create positive change.”

The taskforce hopes to make Greater Manchester a leading, regional example of how to develop a sustainable textiles economy, feeding into national plans to reduce the impact of textile waste through industry initiatives such as Textiles 2030

Over the next 12 months the taskforce will start rolling out pilot projects and plan to expand its network across the region.

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