The British Fashion Council launches inaugural positive fashion project to tackle waste

The British Fashion Council (BFC) has announced its first research project via its Institute of Positive Fashion (IPF) called the Waste Ecosystem Project.

The research aims to find solutions for how the fashion industry can responsibly manage inventory, reduce, and move to circular business operations. The research will look at actions and infrastructures needed in key areas and outline a proposal for change across the whole value chain, and other key areas of the industry such as Education and Training, Collections and Recycling infrastructure, Textile Recycling Innovations, Upcycling and Consumer Mindset.

The project’s ambition is to fast-track the move to a circular fashion industry in the UK and act as a blueprint to share with other organisations and nations to look at their efforts in creating a circular fashion industry globally.

11 million items of clothing go into landfill each year

The fashion industry’s environmental impact accounts for 4 percent of all global carbon emissions and the 2019 Pulse report states that the global textiles industry will be accountable for ¼ of the world’s carbon budget by 2050 without radical action. According to The Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) approximately 11 million items of clothing go into landfill each year.

In 2020 research undertaken for the BFC by Oxford Economics showed that the COVID crisis saw 73 percent of British fashion brands experiencing cancelled orders from wholesale partners and UK clothes sales falling by 34 percent in March alone, resulting in an unprecedented inventory crisis.

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Caroline Rush, BFC Chief Executive commented: “Now, more than ever, there is a need to help the fashion industry accelerate towards a world of circularity as a result of the inventory waste crisis. Post the pandemic, we have a massive opportunity to reset the fashion industry rather than returning to business as usual and the Waste Ecosystem Project will play a key part in this. We are delighted to work with Vanish on this project and together to engage both consumers and industry in playing their part in fashion circularity.”

The IPF helps the British Fashion Industry lead in the goal to be more resilient and circular through global collaboration and local action. Leveraging global expertise and resources, the IPF adopts standards, develops and establishes frameworks to reset and create a new blueprint for the industry. Through identifying common challenges, the IPF calls for collective action and investment in innovation to make a difference. The IPF aims to bring the industry in tune with the needs of the planet by taking a holistic approach across environment, people, community & craftsmanship.

Image via IPF

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