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Creating a circular approach to fashion across Europe

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A circular approach to fashion through the project ECAP.

The European Clothing Action Plan (ECAP) is about embedding a circular economy approach across Europe for the clothing sector. This LIFE funded project will be delivered through a range of partners from the UK, the Netherlands and Denmark.

The project addresses many of the challenges the textile industry faces and will explore production, design, public procurement, sustainable consumption, collection, recycling and reprocessing as a means of waste minimisation and effective waste recovery.

Barbara van Offenbeek, Rijkswaterstaat

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Creating a circular approach to fashion across Europe

  1. 1. Creating a circular approach to fashion across Europe Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment Barbara van Offenbeek-Kuipers Photo Credit: Charity Fashion Live, Rachel Manns (Photographer)
  2. 2. EU Life project - Creating a circular approach to fashion across Europe. European Clothing Action Plan (ECAP) Creating a circular approach to fashion across Europe
  3. 3. European Clothing Action Plan (ECAP) Creating a circular approach to fashion across Europe
  4. 4. Creating a circular approach to fashion across Europe Objective - to adopt a circular approach across Europe to achieve: (2015 baseline) ECAP Targets
  5. 5. Creating a circular approach to fashion across Europe • Reduce clothing footprint and potential cost savings • Support environmental targets • Receive advice/ tools • Become a leader and join a European network • Work collaboratively Why get involved - business benefits?
  6. 6. Creating a circular approach to fashion across Europe • Public procurers are able to take a key role in the development of sustainable workwear. • Setting an example to other buyers and contribute to reducing the environmental impact of clothes. The role of public procurement in getting textiles in Europe more sustainable and circular.
  7. 7. Creating a circular approach to fashion across Europe Actions ECAP; Public Procurement • Market report on European workwear-sector and the organization of public procurement in Europe • Develop criteria for procurement of workwear • Organize 5 masterclasses in Europe for suppliers and procurers of workwear • Develop and share knowledge to stimulate sustainable workwear
  8. 8. Creating a circular approach to fashion across Europe • Context of workwear within European Union • Identifies challenges and opportunities for public sector procurement to contribute to a more circular European economy • Recommends next steps for public procurers to stimulate circularity in workwear Market report on workwear
  9. 9. Creating a circular approach to fashion across Europe Workwear Procurement €8.6 billion of contract awards for textiles and workwear were made across the EU28 countries in 2015 Service TED Value (€) percent Education 12,812,366 0.1% Social services 15,293,967 0.2% Energy & Water Utilities 15,075,647 0.2% Housing 18,629,094 0.2% Environment 19,983,478 0.2% Transport utilities 42,072,974 0.5% Postal services 45,038,328 0.5% Public Order and safety 192,827,612 2.2% Defence 230,114,384 2.7% Health 617,064,497 7.2% Other 1,514,860,723 17.6% General services 5,901,706,040 68.4% TOTAL 8,625,479,111
  10. 10. Creating a circular approach to fashion across Europe • Lack of figures on workwear waste • Estimated 12-15% waste per annum in European countries • Three principal routes: – commercial recycling and re-use collection; – Take-back and commercial collections and – Household waste disposal • Once collected, its bulked with household textiles and clothing and destined for re-use and recycling abroad Textile & workwear waste
  11. 11. Creating a circular approach to fashion across Europe Why are textiles so interesting for Public Procurement? • Resource consumption • Greenhouse gas emissions • Air and water pollution • Water consumption & pollution • Toxicity issues • Biodiversity loss and land-use
  12. 12. Creating a circular approach to fashion across Europe Regulatory • EU: - Health & safety - Hazardous (e.g. REACH) - Labour standards - Procurement practice • National - Additional regulatory and legislative & policy requirements Environmental • EU & national legislation, regulation & policy e.g. WFD, CEP Economic • Cost savings •Voluntary • Sectoral agreements EU Regulatory drivers for workwear
  13. 13. Creating a circular approach to fashion across Europe Current practice (1) - Governmental Buying Standards (2010) > sustainable procurement is more at a voluntary best practice level. Proportion of recyceled fibres is the only explicit resource efficiency criteria - Majority is re-use or recycled. Branded workwear (like police uniforms)has lower value due to the security requirement for shredding of branded items rather than re-use. Permanent branding is one of the barriers to closing the workwear loop. - Economic value of used textiles lies almost entirely in the re-usable component. - Prices for non-re-usables are low and often can’t pay for transport. > find their way to down cycling, e.g. industrial rags, low grade blankets
  14. 14. Creating a circular approach to fashion across Europe Current practice (2) - Simplify procedures and facilitate negotiations between contracting entity and bidders - Encourage innovative solutions and alternate business models based on Life cycle costing market - Pursue efficient procurement with low prices while supporting a competitive market. - Certification used as minimum procurement requirements - Help companies to achieve certification for ecolabel - Pilots with circular procurement for textiles
  15. 15. Creating a circular approach to fashion across Europe Current practice (3) in the Netherlands - Governmental goals to achieve 100% sustainable procurement - Use of Category-management for procurement of several productgroups - Minimum requirements in the procurement and tender-process for product groups for which sustainability criteria are available - Policy focused on encouraging market innovation to improve sustainability, - and targets public bodies to develop their own sustainable procurement policies and ensure they are linked through procurement implementation - encourages functional specification - Textiles Covenant; agreements between government and textile parties to make he Dutch textile sector more sustainable through coordination and cooperation. - Pilots to stimulate circularity in workwear
  16. 16. Creating a circular approach to fashion across Europe •Rijkswaterstaat is the Dutch waterways, public works and environment authority. •As part of a commitment by the Dutch Government to achieve maximum re-use and recycling, Rijkswaterstaat set up a pilot, within the REBus project to explore the potential for remanufacturing workwear. •The main question was; can used clothing be ‘dematerialised’ successfully back into its component materials – and then be used to create new clothing? •50 lock stewards were issued with caps, polo-shirts, raincoats and fleece jackets made of 100% recyclable polyester materials. •All of the clothing was successfully recycled, although the raincoats needed additional material added for remanufacture into new items. Pilot 1: Leasing workwear
  17. 17. Creating a circular approach to fashion across Europe Pilot 2: Defending Recycling •The Royal Netherlands Ministry of Defence employs 58,800 people and utilises large volumes of textiles as uniforms and other products. •Discarded items had been incinerated, but the ministry wanted to find a more circular way to deal with disposal and procurement. •Following consultation with the market, the Ministry of Defence wanted to pilot with new textiles and workwear items containing recycled post-consumer textile fibres. It also sorts discarded items for re-use. •Two contracts have been awarded for new items: one for the supply of 100.000 towels, 10.000 was cloths (containing 36% recycled post-consumer textiles fibers) and one for 53.000 overalls (containing 14% recycled post-consumer textiles fibers); A third contract deals with the sorting of 750.000 end-of-life items per year.
  18. 18. Creating a circular approach to fashion across Europe Circular Procurement Principles
  19. 19. Creating a circular approach to fashion across Europe Resource efficient business models • Take- back /Lease models • Buy and sell on model • Servicisation; Product Service System, in-use impacts and end-of life pathways can have a big influence of the overall environmental impacts.
  20. 20. Creating a circular approach to fashion across Europe Stakeholders workwear in Europe • EU • National • Demand side - Procurement - Use • Supply side - Production - Design - Distribution - Servicing (including repair) • Disposal - Collection - Reuse (including repurposing) - Recycling options
  21. 21. Creating a circular approach to fashion across Europe Recommendations (1) Stakeholders “big fish in a small pond” - Government procurement bodies have significant demand-pull potential within the workwear garment sector Collective action - sectoral approaches have successfully demonstrated the potential for voluntary agreements to close material loops. Further research would be required to identify and understand better the more detailed stakeholder relationships and potential of influence across the different workwear categories.
  22. 22. Creating a circular approach to fashion across Europe Recommendations (2) Procurement • Communicate circular ambitions to the market early to enable innovation in design, manufacture and supply (e.g. REBMs) • Adopting national procurement strategies like a Category Plan can provide the framework, scope and scale for collaboration within the supply chain.
  23. 23. Creating a circular approach to fashion across Europe Recommendations (3) Procurement Design material choice reuse & recyclability Tendering developing markets for recycled content Use functional lifetime optimisation ownership (REBMs) Disposal collections Industrial symbiosis
  24. 24. Creating a circular approach to fashion across Europe Recommendations (4) • The role of certification and its potential in helping to close textile loops needs to be better understood. • Develop a European market led roadmap for circular workwear with actions, timescales, stakeholders, costs, benefits and incentives.
  25. 25. Creating a circular approach to fashion across Europe Question to you all: • Do you have any experiences you’d like to share? • Would you like to join us and help us develop criteria for circular workwear?
  26. 26. •Go to our website ecap.eu.com and sign up to our project e-newsletter for updates. •Download the report: http://www.rwsleefomgeving.nl/onderwerpen/afval/afval-nieuws/afvalnieuws/co •http://www.ECAP.eu.com > Public Procurement actions or: •Contact: Barbara.van.offenbeek@rws.nl Creating a circular approach to fashion across Europe
  27. 27. Creating a circular approach to fashion across Europe

Editor's Notes

  • Delivered by a unique consortium of specialist organisations, supported by EU LIFE funding, this €3.6m project will run until March 2019.
    Project partners are:
    WRAP (is the lead Beneficiary).
    MADE-BY - Founded in 2004, MADE-BY is an award-winning European not-for-profit organisation acting to improve environmental and social conditions within the fashion industry. It is MADE-BY’s vision to ‘Make Sustainable Fashion Common Practice’. We have worked with over 100 brands, retailers and sector bodies on bespoke consultancy, policy advice, and through our holistic, transparent and verified tracking tool MODE Tracker. In 2013 MADE-BY won Consultancy of the Year at the UK Guardian Sustainable Business Awards.
    Rijkswaterstaat - Rijkswaterstaat is the executive agency of the Dutch ministry of Infrastructure and Environment working on a sustainable environment. Rijkswaterstaat develops and implements policies for sustainable waste management and resource efficiency.
    Danish Fashion Institute (DAFI) -Danish Fashion Institute (DAFI) is a network organisation established for and by the Danish fashion industry in 2005. Besides working to push Danish fashion forward and organising Copenhagen Fashion Week twice a year, DAFI has since 2008 been a pioneer within the field of sustainability. Every other year, DAFI organizes the renowned international Copenhagen Fashion Summit that gathers industry professionals, politicians, experts, and NGO’s from across the globe to discuss visions and challenges for a sustainable fashion industry.
    LWARB -The London Waste and Recycling Board (LWARB), chaired by Richard Tracey AM, working in conjunction with the Mayor of London and London Councils, has a remit to improve waste management in the capital.
  • With the 2015 EU Clothing action plan for the circular economy we work on integrated action across design, production, consumption and waste management. The ECAP Partners are all responsible for one of the workpackages described in the figure above. We all work together to create a circular approach towards textiles in Europe by developing and sharing knowledge and creating a large network with everyone that wants to join us in order to realise the circular economy benefits, estimated by some at up to €600 billion across Europe.
  • The focus is to develop a pan-European framework, which centres on a set of target-based actions that will:
    Reduce the carbon, water and waste footprints of clothing in Europe.
    Ensure that fewer low grade textiles go to incineration and landfill.
    Prevent waste in the clothing supply chain.
    Encourage innovation in resource-efficient design, recycling of textile fibres and service models to encourage business growth in the sector.
    Influence consumers to buy smarter and use clothing for longer by using the existing Love Your Clothes consumer campaign.
     
    Based on a 2015 baseline.
  •  
    Being a part of this innovative project will enable organisations to:
    Reduce the overall footprint of individual garments to gain potential cost savings by looking at fibre selection and making clothing more durable.
    Support their environmental and corporate responsibility targets (meeting CSR commitments).
    Receive advice, training and tools from specialist industry organisations (case studies).
    Become a recognised leader in the development and network of a European wide framework in sustainable clothing (become a forerunner in sustainable clothing).
    Working together with the supply chain and being supported by peers.
  • Rijkswaterstaat is the executive agency of the Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment. Amongst others Rijkswaterstaat acts as a stimulator and facilitator in the field of Circular Economy, Waste and Materials. They support stakeholders involved in several supply chains like the textile-, food- or concrete chain to become more sustainable. In the ECAP project we take care of 3 sub- actions,:
    Public Procurement Action,
    Fibre to Fibre Recovery and
    Increasing Clothing Recovery Rates.
    In this webinar I will focus on the role of Public Procurement of workwear
     
    One of the challenges in making clothing more circular is a mismatch between demand and supply. In this ECAP action we will match the outcome of the strategies developed in the training for suppliers of workwear (one of the ECAP actions by MADE By) with public procurement strategies for circularity and sustainability. This will lead to revision and/or development of procurement criteria and guidance for public procurers to benefit from increased availability of sustainable clothing. It will also encourage market development for fibre to fibre clothing and help develop stable markets and de-risk investment in the new product lines. This ultimately results in more sustainable and circular public procurement.
  •  
    Being a part of this exciting and innovative project will enable organisations to:
    Reduce the overall footprint of individual garments to gain potential cost savings by looking at fibre selection and making clothing more durable.
    Support their environmental and corporate responsibility targets (meeting CSR commitments).
    Receive advice, training and tools from specialist industry organisations (case studies).
    Become a recognised leader in the development and network of a European wide framework in sustainable clothing (become a forerunner in sustainable clothing).
    Working together with the supply chain and being supported by peers.
  •  
  • for 2015, €8.6 billion of contract awards for textiles and workwear were made across the EU28 countries. It only reflects contracts published above the relevant OJEU threshold values, therefore is probably an underestimation.
     
    Table 3.5ii provides a breakdown of the awards and shows that outside of non-specific categories, health, defence and the emergency services account for the largest individual procurement services for textiles and clothing.
  •  There are no published figures on workwear waste available to this report. The assumption for workwear is that garments are replaced on a one-to-one basis12. It did however go on to note that this is not always applicable, as some replacement may be due to more staff or increased propensity for workwear. This will also be balanced by other factors, e.g. businesses closing or decreasing the workforce in both public and private sectors, with clothing being disposed of and not replaced.
    The collection systems for workwear comprise three principles routes:
    commercial recycling (and re-use) collections;
    take-back and commercial collections; and
    household waste disposal.
    Estimating the proportions for these routes is not possible although anecdotally, many case studies, e.g. City of Herning in Denmark and Welsh NHS Trust nurses’ uniforms, noted that the leakage of workwear such as uniforms into the household waste collection system was a significant factor in considering procurement options for managed services and take-back.
     
    Once collected the majority of workwear is bulked with household textiles and clothing. In northern European countries these bulked ‘rag’ bales are destined for re-use and recycling abroad either in sorted or semi-sorted grades. However the proportion varies from country to country and data are variable in availability and quality. According to work by WRAP (2012) on corporate workwear, between 12-15% is a realistic waste arisings percentage based on industry and other sources. This is not the same yield, as some of the textile off-cuts may be re-used ‘in house’ and never be declared in official waste statistics.
     
    In the absence of hard evidence it is assumed post-production waste levels for workwear are similar across European. European and ECAP partner country waste levels (per annum) for workwear are therefore estimated on the 12% value.
  •  
  • The potential for textiles in general, and clothing in particular, to be circular in production and consumption is potentially very high but requires procurement actions to address all parts of the textiles lifecycle chain. You need to look at al steps and think about what’s needed to improve consciousness and the will to take action. If there is no policy that embraces sustainability or circularity, and users of workwear it will be very hard for the contractmanagers to use
    Circular procurement also provides options for adapting the business as usual (produce-consume-dispose) model to a more resource efficient procurement model that delivers broader policy goals as well as benefits like cost savings, reduced environmental impacts and improving social wellbeing. There are many examples and some, such as service-based models are common in many EU member states for certain workwear items. There are broadly three types:
     
    Take-back – using the procurement exercise to enable suppliers and /or manufacturers to take-back workwear at end of use so that they can either be re-used, repurposed or recycled more effectively than going into general textile collection schemes.
    Buy & sell on – these models can create revenue streams and typically incorporate arrangements for the purchasing body to sell-on workwear at end of use either for re-use or recycling.
    Servitization - Product Service System (PSS) models can be relevant to workwear where in-use impacts and end-of-(first) life pathways can have a big influence of the overall environmental impacts. Product-service systems however are not by definition sustainable. PSS can include incentives for sustainable practices, but this needs to be organised and specified in the right way. Details on what is needed to ensure sustainability within the services are required to maximise their potential.
    UNEP SPP Working Group 3a 2015 Using Product-Service Systems to Enhance Public Procurement. Technical Paper
  • Circular procurement also provides options for adapting the business as usual (produce-consume-dispose) model to a more resource efficient procurement model that delivers broader policy goals as well as benefits like cost savings, reduced environmental impacts and improving social wellbeing. There are many examples and some, such as service-based models are common in many EU member states for certain workwear items. There are broadly three types:
     
    Take-back – using the procurement exercise to enable suppliers and /or manufacturers to take-back workwear at end of use so that they can either be re-used, repurposed or recycled more effectively than going into general textile collection schemes.
    Buy & sell on – these models can create revenue streams and typically incorporate arrangements for the purchasing body to sell-on workwear at end of use either for re-use or recycling.
    Servitization - Product Service System (PSS) models can be relevant to workwear where in-use impacts and end-of-(first) life pathways can have a big influence of the overall environmental impacts. Product-service systems however are not by definition sustainable. PSS can include incentives for sustainable practices, but this needs to be organised and specified in the right way. Details on what is needed to ensure sustainability within the services are required to maximise their potential.
    UNEP SPP Working Group 3a 2015 Using Product-Service Systems to Enhance Public Procurement. Technical Paper
  • There is an extended chain of textile and workwear stakeholders from fibre production through manufacturing to disposal, that are involved the textiles and workwear clothing production and consumption loop. Stakeholders can be broadly divided into supply; demand; and, end-of-life. (Figure 2).
     
    There are also a variety of other stakeholders with significant influence across policy & regulation (e.g. lobby and represtative bodies), research & development (e.g. academia, testing & standards bodies), purchasing (e.g. central and bi-lateral procurement organisations), garment use (e.g. washing machine and washing agents manufacturers and suppliers), and end-of life (e.g. repurposing and repair businesses, textile brokers etc). Government is both a consumer and also a significant influencer – through legislative, fiscal and regulatory mechanisms; and, through purchasing power. The heterogeneous nature of the various stakeholders as well as the extended supply chain they cover is a barrier to closing product and material loops. Developing roles, e.g. the Category Plan Manager in the Netherlands, and procurement processes that facilitate bringing these heterogeneous stakeholders together will be a valuable step in help to close the material loop. This highlights the importance that a -demand-led- approach can have in encouraging greater circularity in the workwear product loop.
  • The potential for textiles in general, and clothing in particular, to be circular in production and consumption is potentially very high but requires procurement actions to address all parts of the textiles lifecycle chain
  • Call to action:
    Visit ECAP in the foyer for signup of participants and supporters across all actions.
    Participant = You’re an individual or an organisation participating in your chosen action area(s) in reducing the environmental impacts of the
    fashion industry between now and March 2019 and are also a supporter of ECAP.
    Supporter = You’re an individual or an organisation publicly supporting the overarching aims of ECAP to build a circular approach to fashion across Europe, and achieve environmental targets on carbon, waste and water by March 2019.
    2. For more information, check in your e-delegate pack.
    3. Or visit ecap.eu.com to sign up for our project e-newsletter for ECAP updates.
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