Last week’s news pointed to increased urgency around circularity with more fashion players committing to goals ahead of legislation coming into play and more organisations urging a switch to next-gen materials.

First up was a whitepaper from GlobalData which suggested the EU is significantly ahead when it comes to the vision for a circular world, thanks to funding from the European Investment Bank, and EU member states which are together the ‘biggest contributors of public climate finance to developing economies’.

But GlobalData warns extensive investment and further outreach is needed to support the overarching objectives around circularity since convincing consumers to change their behaviours is not an “easy or inexpensive task.”

Cost is a major barrier to circularity according to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, which advocates introducing an Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) scheme.

According to the Foundation, EPR policy is a starting point and needs to evolve to deliver circular economy outcomes. Its report states that the current EPR policy leaves opportunities untapped by focusing on downstream activities, such as recycling.

It also calls for national EPR systems to align around the same key objectives while setting targets that are tailored to the national or regional context to achieve a global circular economy for textiles.

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The US is also edging closer to circularity with the progression of Senator Josh Newman’s Responsible Textile Recovery Act 2024.

Passing with a nine-to-three vote split, the Responsible Textile Recovery Act will establish extended producer responsibility in the US state.

Under the bill producers will be expected to establish and fund programmes for reusing, repairing and recycling clothing and textile fibres and it will help secondhand retailers to handle waste by incentivising the use of more sustainable and more easily recycled materials.

The call to shift to next-gen materials that have a pivotal role in securing a circular, regenerative and sustainable fashion system is accelerating.

But findings from advisory service Sustainabelle suggest the shift is not happening at scale.

While 48% of brands and 73% of suppliers stated they had allocated a team or financial resources specifically to material innovation, the Kering-supported research found that of 55 innovators surveyed, only 17% said they currently had offtake agreements in place, while just 22% of the brands and 5% of the suppliers surveyed already had the offtake agreements.

The findings suggest the apparel world is inching closer to the global vision of circularity but achieving it in reality is some way off without substantial investment and industry collaboration to scale proven solutions.

Top news on Just Style this week…

Explainer: Under the skin of fashion’s latest material innovations

Just Style breaks down the current landscape of fashion’s booming next-gen materials market as well as its key opportunities and challenges.

Explainer: Fashion sector braces for impact of EU Deforestation law

Fashion brands and retailers sourcing leather goods and wood-based goods, such as packaging could face an indirect impact from the upcoming EU Deforestation Regulation (EUDR).

Euratex president outlines aims for ‘world-leading’ European textile sector

Just Style catches up with new Euratex president Mario Jorge Machado who says the European textile sector is a cut above the rest thanks to its innovation and skills but it’s time to take it to the next level.

SBTI CEO steps down following Scope 3 controversy

Dr Luiz Amaral has announced he is standing down as CEO of the Science-Based Targets Initiative, amid ongoing backlash to proposed changes to the use of carbon credits for Scope 3 emissions.

Explainer: Dressed to kill? The hidden dangers of synthetic clothing

From nylon being bad for the lungs to microfibres clogging human veins, industry experts warn that synthetic clothing poses serious health risks and a shift is needed towards natural fibres and reduced consumption.

IAF, ITMF convention 2024 to focus on apparel, textile decarbonisation

The International Textile Manufacturers Federation (ITMF) and International Apparel Federation (IAF) Convention 2024 in Samarkand, Uzbekistan from 8-10 September will discuss the latest developments in the apparel and textile sectors.

M&S, SOJO to launch clothing repair service

Working with repair and alterations specialist SOJO, UK retailer Marks and Spencer (M&S) is launching a clothing repair service to give garments “another life”.

Delta Apparel to sell Salt Life amid bankruptcy, stock exchange delisting

The US stock exchange is delisting US clothing retailer Delta Apparel after it filed for bankruptcy with the Delaware District Court and its Salt Life brand is expected to be sold to FCM Saltwater Holdings, Inc. for approximately $28m.