What is the relationship between the textile industry and the circular economy?

Tondo - a non-profit organisation focused on the Circular Economy - presented the first Italian study on the relationship between the textile industry and the Circular Economy in Northern Italy.

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Tondo is pleased to present “Circular Threads“, the first study that aims to investigate the link between the Italian textile and fashion industry and the Circular Economy.

The study, carried out in collaboration with Fondazione Pistoletto, Associazione Tessile e Salute and rén collective, made it possible to analyse the level of sustainability and circularity of textile and fashion companies in northern Italy, with a particular focus on the Biella district, a pole of excellence and reference point for the Italian textile sector.

The study aims to provide an overview of the current situation and to accelerate the transition to the circular economy in the textile sector, identifying best practices implemented and the main challenges faced by companies.

Specifically, a three-level analysis was conducted: for the first level, desk research, a series of sustainable and circular actions for the textile industry were identified and it was verified which of these actions were implemented in a sample of 300 companies in Northern Italy. As a second level of analysis, a questionnaire was submitted to a sample of almost 70 companies to assess the level of circular and sustainable practices implemented in a number of key areas. Finally, a detailed material flow analysis was carried out for two companies to calculate a circularity index at product level using the Ellen MacArthur Foundation methodology.

Considering the strategic importance of the Italian fashion and textile industry, the transition towards more circular and sustainable production models represents not only a necessity but also a significant economic opportunity. However, the state that emerges from the study reveals a lack of implementation of circular economy practices with only a few notable exceptions that are paving the way towards a more circular industry.

To accelerate this important transition, a number of actions are becoming increasingly relevant and should be pursued by textile and fashion companies in the near future.

In particular, based on the results of the study, more attention should be given to: product design, transparency, supplier selection, industrial symbiosis, research and development activities for new sustainable and circular materials, and finally a wider cultural change that could support the transition process.

For more information visit: Tondo | Reshaping our future through the Circular Economy

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