The Ellen MacArthur Foundation has issued a study into the fashion industry's sustainability practices.

Tintex Textiles has joined the “Make Fashion Circular” initiative organized by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, which “aims to collaborate and innovate toward a new textiles economy, based on the principles of a circular economy,” the foundation said.

The foundation’s core partners of the initiative include Burberry, Gap Inc., H&M, HSBC, Nike Inc. and Stella McCartney. The effort is being done with support from the C&A Foundation and the Walmart Foundation. The Ellen MacArthur Foundation said there are 16 stakeholders, which includes municipal authorities, “fashion producers, designers and brands” that have “joined forces to transform the current state of fashion and rectify its negative impact.”

Other participants include DuPont Biomaterials, Fung Group, Hallotex, I:Collect, Inditex, Kering, Lenzing Group, London Waste and Recycling Board, Nanushka, Primark, RadiciGroup, Solvay, Texaid, VF Corp. and W.L. Gore and Associates.

The work is focused on three basic principles that the industry needs to put into practice to reduce waste and benefit the plant as well as people. This includes deploying business models aimed at extending the life cycle of apparel, using materials that are “renewable and safe” and leveraging “smart solutions” that can transform used clothes into new apparel.

The lynchpin of the initiative is a 2017 report from the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, “A New Textiles Economy: Redesigning Fashion’s Future,” that researchers of the foundation said “identifies the fashion industry’s current take-make-dispose model as the root cause of its environmental problems and economic value loss.”

“Every second, the equivalent of one garbage truck of textiles is landfilled or burned,” authors of the report said. “An estimated $500 billion value is lost every year due to clothing being barely worn and rarely recycled. If nothing changes, by 2050 the fashion industry will use up a quarter of the world’s carbon budget. Washing clothes releases half a million tons of plastic microfibers into the ocean every year, equivalent to more than 50 billion plastic bottles.”

The fix? Creating a circular textiles economy via industry-wide collaboration among various stakeholders. The foundation said the idea is to “stimulate the level of collaboration and innovation necessary to create a new textiles economy, aligned with the principles of the circular economy.”

“To really Make Fashion Circular, businesses, governments, innovators and citizens need to join forces,” the foundation noted in its report.

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