Waste reduction charity Wrap today launched its wide-ranging environmental initiative, ‘Textiles 2030’, calling it “the most ambitious ten-year programme for clothing and textiles in the world”.
The UK sustainable textiles action plan for the clothing and textiles industries is a voluntary agreement aimed at slashing the environmental impact of UK clothing and home fabrics through what Wrap described as practical interventions along the entire textiles value chain.
Textiles 2030 has secured commitment from more than 17 major brands and retailers, 26 re-use/recycling organisations and 20 affiliates. Wrap said this means the agreement is supported by more than half the UK market at launch, with nearly 60% of clothing placed on the market by sales volume by UK retailers behind the agreement.
Asos, Boohoo, Dunelm, John Lewis, Marks & Spencer, New Look, Next, Primark, Sainsbury’s, Ted Baker, Tesco and The Salvation Army are among the organisations signed up.
Marcus Gover, CEO of Wrap, said: “I’ve been impressed by the way business has committed to reducing the environmental impact of its products and striving for net zero.
“They clearly see this as core to their business models and essential for building back better as they recover from the pandemic. We have been working with business to develop Textiles 2030 to drive forward the sector-wide change needed to redress how we use textiles.”
He suggested there is public demand for clothes to be made more sustainably, adding: “Textiles 2030 will create a fashion sector fit for the future and lower the environmental impacts of other household textiles.”
As part of today’s launch, Wrap has unveiled the ‘Textiles 2030 Roadmap’, which will direct the actions of the intiative. This sets out water and carbon reduction targets, and the key milestones and activities necessary to create a more circular textile industry.
Among the targets are for the industry to cut carbon by 50%, which would be sufficient to put the UK textiles sector on a path consistent with limiting global warming to 1.5°C, in line with the Paris Agreement on climate change. Achieving ‘net zero’ by 2050 at the latest is also a goal of the initiative, alongside reducing the aggregate water footprint of new products sold by 30%.
Textiles 2030 signatories will join forces with the aim of agreeing good practice principles, including durability, recyclability, use of recycled content and minimising waste, and implement them as appropriate. They will also work to introduce circular business models to extent product lifespans, and set up partnerships to supply and use recycled fibres for new products.
Crossbench peer and University of Nottingham chancellor, Baroness Young of Hornsey, is supporting Textiles 2030. She said: “We urgently need to protect the planet from the damaging, unsustainable impact of the way we produce and consume clothing and textiles.
“Innovation, creativity and commitment, underpinned by collaboration is essential if we are to be successful. By working together, businesses across the UK can take the critical steps needed to transform business practices in the sector for good and achieve our climate goals.”
Textiles 2030 is the first national agreement in what will become a global collection of programmes, under the new Textiles Action Network, targeting a reduction in the environmental impact of clothing around the world.
Wrap has partnered with the World Resources Institute, and is supported by the Laudes Foundation, in developing a set of globally relevant targets. It will launch the second commitment, in Denmark, in summer 2021.
Read more about environmental action led specifically by retail’s trade body, the British Retail Consortium
[Image credit: Next]