Ellen MacArthur & Stella McCartney Campaign to Reduce Retail Fashion Industry Waste
Recently at London's Victoria & Albert Museum, designer Stella McCartney and Dame Ellen MacArthur cohosted the launch of a sustainability report that sets out a new vision for the retail fashion industry.
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The Ellen MacArthur Foundation's Circular Fibers Initiative Report, A New Textiles Economy: Redesigning Fashion's Future, laid bare damning findings that will hopefully ignite some change.
While the equivalent of a garbage truck's worth of textiles is wasted every second, less than 1% of clothing is recycled into new pieces.
If this continues, the fashion industry will consume one-quarter of the world's annual carbon budget by 2050.
As reported by BBC Business reporter Rebecca Marston, Stella McCartney is calling for radical changes to the "incredibly wasteful" fashion industry.
The designer along with industry giants H&M and Nike are backing the report by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation.
“What really excites me about [the report] is that it provides solutions to an industry that is incredibly wasteful and harmful to the environment," McCartney said.
"The report presents a roadmap for us to create better businesses and a better environment. It opens up the conversation that will allow us to find a way to work together to better our industry, for the future of fashion, and for the future of the planet.” Stella McCartney
“Today’s textile industry is built on an outdated linear, take-make-dispose model and is hugely wasteful and polluting," Ellen MacArthur stated.
"This report presents an ambitious vision of a new system, based on circular economy principles, that offers benefits to the economy, society, and the environment."
The report has a list of suggestions as to how to change the way clothing is produced to make it more sustainable, and taps into a growing movement among consumers towards more sustainable living.
A New Textiles Economy Requires New and Ambitious Thinking
A new textiles economy has four main ambitions that are consistent with the principles of a circular economy.
These ambitions aim to bring about a new textiles economy by rethinking the existing textiles economy and capturing opportunities missed by its current, linear nature.
- Phase out substances of concern and microfibre release
- Transform the way clothes are designed, sold, and used to break free from their increasingly disposable nature
- Radically improve recycling by transforming clothing design, collection, and reprocessing
- Make effective use of resources and move to renewable inputs
These ambitions are discussed in detail in the full report. Action towards meeting them needs to take a coordinated and systemic approach, making sure that progress in one area does not impede progress in another.