Leading brands and retailers report their progress in achieving circularity targets

     New Status Report reveals fashion brands have met 21 per cent of their ambitious circularity targets they committed to achieve by 2020.

     Industry stakeholders convene in Brussels to discuss report and how to establish a circular fashion system.

Global Fashion Agenda, a leadership forum for sustainability in fashion recently released the Year Two Status Report, an annual assessment of the progress that brands and retailers have made in reaching the targets of the 2020 Circular Fashion System Commitment (2020 Commitment).

The Year Two Status Report shows that signatories have reached 45 (21%) of the 213 targets set, highlighting the ambitious nature of many of the targets. Although significant progress has been made, some targets take longer to implement. Brands must accelerate their efforts and seek further collaboration if they are to achieve their remaining targets by June 2020.

Roadblocks to Progress

As of July 2019, 79 per cent of the initial targets are still outstanding. The Year Two Status Report indicates that the majority of signatories find addressing action point 4, "Increasing the share of garments and/or footwear made from recycled post-consumer textile fibres", the most challenging.

The Year Two Status Report includes brand case studies by ASOS, Eksempel, Filippa K, Guess, H&M, Loomstate, MUD Jeans and Nudie Jeans, as well as statements by representatives of Bestseller, Dhana Inc, Ganni, KappAhl, Mara Hoffman, Nike, Norrøna Sport, Suitsupply and VF Emea.

The Road Ahead

     Despite the encouraging progress, the fashion industry is still far from being sustainable and circular. Governments and policymakers must play a strong role in creating a supportive regulatory framework.

     Recently, select fashion leaders, policymakers and organisations that are key actors in the fashion system convened in Brussels for a roundtable event. Attendees included representatives from fibre manufacturers, brands, recyclers, cities and more.

     Global Fashion Agenda also collaborated with Sustainable Apparel Coalition and the Federation of the European Sporting Goods Industry to launch a Policy Hub for Circular Economy in the apparel and footwear industry. The Policy Hub will create an aligned proposition on policies for circularity with inputs from a range of stakeholders engaging in the topic.

     In the third and final year of the 2020 Commitment, Global Fashion Agenda will continue to support signatories in reaching their targets, with a particular focus on addressing key challenges.

Key Facts on Circularity

73 per cent of the world's clothing eventually ends in landfills. (Global Fashion Agenda & Boston Consulting Group. Pulse of the Fashion Industry).

Every second, a garbage truck full of textiles is thrown out. If today's textile collection rate triples by 2030, it could be worth more than €4 billion.

If the industry were to find a way to collect and recycle all fibres, the value would equal up to €80 billion. Today less than 15 per cent of clothes are collected for recycling, and less than 1 per cent of the material used to produce clothing is recycled into new clothing.

The Four Targets

The list of targets set and reached.

Action point 1: Implementing design strategies for cyclability: 87 targets set, 24 reached. New/more ambitious targets set:6

Action point 2: Increasing the volume of used garments and/or footwear collected: 52 targets set, 12 reached.

Action point 3: Increasing the volume of used garments and/or footwear resold: 27 targets set, 4 reached.

Action point 4: Increasing share of garments and/ or footwear made from recycled post-consumer textile fibres: 47 targets set, 5 reached.

2020 Commitment

The 2020 Commitment, which stopped accepting new signatories in May 2018, was developed by Global Fashion Agenda to encourage fashion brands and retailers to take action on circularity. It is meant to be inclusive by calling on fashion brands and retailers of all sizes, market segments and starting points to participate. Furthermore, it encompasses companies that have not yet taken action on circularity as well as those who already have programmes in place