Circular Economy

The world population is growing with approximately 1 billion people every generation, every 12 years. 

While conscious and responsible consumption by people, states or industries may delay resource exhaustion, there is a need to find and agree on new ways for making, using and disposing products, such as textiles.

Resource intensive consumption and production models, climate change, biodiversity and pollution are global challenges and require coordinated efforts. The European Union (EU) has already pioneered breakthrough policies in the plastic value chain. This has proved how well-coordinated actions between business players, society and Member States can deliver change-driving policies in less than 1 year.

In 2019 the new European Commission sets out a policy guideline to address global environmental challenges and circularity. With a population of 513 million people and 18.705 trillion GDP, the EU has the capacity to lead the way and inspire many world regions with a frontrunner successful policy.
Meanwhile, grim warnings on the health of the global economy affect people, businesses and governments. A prolonged economic downturn and weakening of global manufacturing sector would top up challenges because economic decline would worsen without solving the climate challenges.


A successful EU Textile strategy for Circular Economy is an opportunity to solve both societal and economic problems. It is an opportunity to reconcile the Environmental-Social-Economic sides of sustainability in the sector and unleash opportunity for resource-decoupled growth, especially for the European SMEs and the employment they provide. It is an opportunity to lead by example in global policy making and deliver on the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

9 action proposals

(details released as of March 2020)

Action #1 Make partnerships

Action #2 Creation of New Markets

Action #3 Support voluntary traceability

Action #4 Support harmonisation and standards

Action #5 Consumers

Action #6 Focus on SMEs

Action #7 Research, Innovation and investments

Action #8 Reduce cost of testing

Action #9 Policy options and existing legislation

Circular Economy in textiles, examples and lessons learned from business cases in collaboration with Business Europe

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