Systems and Infrastructure for a Circular Economy in Fashion: The Business Case for Textile to Textile Recycling, Dinelle Salvador

The fashion industry is facing highly publicized scrutiny for the unprecedented growth in textile waste and extremely polluting supply chain operations. Fundamental changes are needed to the fashion business model in order to minimize the damaging environmental impacts and ensure long-term sustainability. The circular economy has emerged as a possible solution, but systemic change is needed in order to transform the current linear supply chain to one that is circular. The purpose of this paper is to contribute to knowledge of circularity in fashion and build a business case for investment in textile-to-textile recycling infrastructure in order to advance the circular economy in the fashion industry. This research study uses a qualitative approach through semi-structured interviews with stakeholders from the fashion industry and the textile recycling supply chain. Findings demonstrate textile-to-textile recycling can be successful under certain conditions, but it is also inhibited by lack of funding and government support. Brand commitments are necessary in order to incentivize the building of textile-to-textile recycling infrastructure, and funding must be distributed to the areas along the value chain that
are needed in order for textile recycling technologies to scale.

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