Innovation within design comes down to how we use materials and how the design process sets up the lifecycle of any item long term.
The creation of new materials from renewable, innovative or waste sources requires thinking, on order to develop materials which will also work and last.
Industry leaders consider new materials in the design process, with new techniques and uses to incorporate them effectively. This approach will reach full scale through further public and private investments on materials.
The transformation of waste into secondary raw materials is a compelling solution, alongside improving quality and durability of these materials throughout their life.
Another approach to reducing waste is found in the development of more circular materials.
Innovation can help decrease waste throughout the production process. This includes GHG emissions and waste water, but also the waste of fabric.
An innovative way to prevent fabric waste is through printing of fabric. Not only does it reduce pollution of fabric dye, it also helps optimise the cutting of the material.
Innovation within the apparel and footwear industry will also constitute innovative business models.
In order to reduce waste, we need to explore reuse, repair and rental schemes as viable business options.
A good way to kick start such innovation is by supporting pilot projects for new business models around the EU.
If we want to promote a market for secondary raw materials, we need to be inventive when it comes to both their recovery and transformation.
When secondary raw materials are more available, it will give us the opportunity to improve their quality, creating a preference for the use of secondary materials.
The COVID-19 pandemic has shaken the global economy. The apparel, textile and footwear industry is no exception. This crisis coincides with sustainability programs and commitments have increasingly becoming the industry norm and steps towards achieving a circular economy and carbon neutrality are taken. Shifting the economy to a more circular one requires all hands on deck and is a collaborative effort by citizens, industry and policymakers who can build upon both existing commitments and new initiatives together. The Policy Hub proposes seven key principles that should serve as a roadmap to ensure economic recovery while also driving the development towards a circular economy.
Vision of the Policy Hub on how to include circular economy principles at the design stage of product development.
The Policy Hub supports the European Commission’s initiative to address the challenge of textile waste and welcomes the consideration of extended producer responsibility (EPR) as an option to implement the regulatory requirement to separately collect textiles by 2025.
The value of creating circular business models has been recognised for many of the EU’s waste streams and within the circular economy agenda – from plastics to electronics to cars – thanks to the substantial benefits to be gained both in environmental and financial terms. Textiles have been identified as one of the waste streams with the highest untapped potential to implement circular practices.