Ellen MacArthur and Stella McCartney launch new textiles economy report

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Ellen MacArthur and fashion designer Stella McCartney have co-hosted the release of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s new report A new textiles economy: Redesigning fashion’s future in London.  

The report was produced by the Circular Fibres Initiative, which aims to bring together fashion leaders to collaborate and achieve a new textiles economy, based on a circular economy 

According to the Foundation, the fashion sector’s disposal model is the main cause of many environmental impacts, with an estimated $500 billion lost annually due to clothing that is hardly worn and rarely recycled. 

The report states that if nothing has changed by 2050, this industry will use a quarter of the world’s carbon budget, as well as producing pollution into the ocean that is equivalent to more than 50 billion plastic bottles.  

From this, it states that if the Foundation’s approach to a new textiles economy was implemented, clothes would be designed to last longer, be worn more, be easily resold and recycled, and would not release pollution.  

To achieve this, the need for exploring new materials, and finding ways to scale better technologies are vital to create a new textiles economy, the report says. 

Retailers and manufacturers including H&M, Lenzing and NIKE, have endorsed the Foundations vision and report, with over 40 fashion brands, leading companies, public bodies and experts all contributing to achieve the Foundations goal. 

Stella McCartney, one of the designers involved in this project, said: “What really excites me about A new textiles economy: Redesigning fashion’s future is that it provides solutions to an industry that is incredibly wasteful and harmful to the environment. The report presents a roadmap for us to create better businesses and a better environment. It opens up the conversation that will allow us to find a way to work together to better our industry, for the future of fashion and for the future of the planet.