Nike, H&M, Burberry and Gap have joined Stella McCartney in signing up to an initiative aimed at reducing fashion’s waste.
McCartney, an advocate for sustainable fashion, was the first to board the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s Make Fashion Circular scheme last year, with global brands soon following her lead and pledging to recycle raw materials and products.
“Over the past 15 years clothing production has doubled, while the amount of time we wear those clothes before throwing them away – usually to be landfilled or incinerated – has fallen dramatically,” Francois Souchet, head of Make Fashion Circular, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
“We can change this ever faster model into one in which clothes are never seen as waste, through better design and new leasing and resale business models.”
Working with HSBC bank, the brands and designers part of the initiative will spend three years finding new ways to lessen the amount of pollution they are putting out.
A report by the foundation found that less than one per cent of clothing is recycled, and half a million tonnes of plastic microfibres, the equivalent to more than 50 billion plastic bottles, are released from washed clothing annually, adding to the high levels of ocean pollution seen around the globe.
H&M spokesman Inigo Saenz Maestre spoke to Business of Fashion about the retailer’s decision to join the foundation.
“There is no single company that can solve the challenge of shifting the whole industry from a linear to a circular business model on its own, that is why a collaborative approach is crucial,” Maestre said.
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