The textile industry is one of the world’s most polluting industries. Five specific intentions have been expressed to work on a circular approach to textiles in the Amsterdam region over the next three years: refuse, reduce, reuse, repair, and repurpose/recycle with processing in the region. Numerous parties in the region have signed up to these intentions. A circular textile industry significantly reduces environmental impact and generates regional employment.

Why Textile Loops?

The Textile Loops initiative focuses on the transition towards circular textiles. In the near future textiles will no longer be discarded. To give them a longer lifespan, they’ll be designed for longevity, maintained and repaired. Non-reusable textiles will be processed into new products. By 2025, 20% of all textiles in the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area will be circular. Textile Loops contributes to the green metropolis of the future. We build on regional activity by frontrunners, like the Innovation Centre for Circular Textile (ICCT), focused activity by the City of Amsterdam as part of the Reflow program and the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area governments for whom textile is a priority stream. Its first result is Green Deal Circular Textile.

What is the Green Deal Circular Textiles? 

Green Deal Circular Textile focuses on innovative ways of ‘closing the textile loop’. Green Deal is a consortium of triple helix organizations that intend to further the transition toward circular textile. The partners work on a broad spectrum of initiatives in various fields. Amsterdam Economic Board takes an orchestrating role. In 2022, we strengthen the ecosystem and secure the basis for expansion and scaling of the circular activities. With our key partners we design and deploy the organizational structure for the Green Deal. We support (newly formed) regional innovative consortiums aimed at recycling non-reusable textiles. We build valuable partnerships with organizations that fit our goals and contribute to the strategy.

“If there’s a revolution, there must be a leading vision. Without the foresight to grasp seemingly fictitious or far-fetched ideas and ground them in reality, it’s impossible to beat the so-called traditionalism and its followers. Without a vision, we cannot succeed in creating change.” 

Dedicated teams are working to achieve specific ambitions in their fields. Make repair a service all brands can easily deliver, joined forces to make insulation jackets a no brainer for all care institutes, add a minimum of postconsumer recycled material to jeans, increase collection and improve sorting of discarded textiles, increase awareness on the value of textiles, increase longevity of hotel linnen, develop yarns from non reusable post consumer regional discarded textiles.  And on top of that the fashion institutes are joining forces on a circular fashion curriculum for which the multi level collaboration is a key objective. All activities contribute to regional ambitions to become the ‘Innovative sustainable metropolis’ in which a sustainable and healthy future is our vision. 

Here’s what we’re working on in 2022

Goals for 2022 can be boiled down to the  deployment of the regional vision and strategy on circular textiles. With the vision we focus our efforts and define our route for change. With the vision comes financing as a must have to enable the next steps. We team up with our key partners, the MRA with the municipality of Amsterdam as an inspirational nucleus.

Invitation to collaborate

If you would like to contribute to circular textiles, contact Claire Teurlings, Circular Economy Lead.

Video by Ellen Mensink (owner of Brightloops and Loop.a.life) & Hans Bon (owner of Wieland Textiles and Textiles2Textiles) about sustainable & circular production (in Dutch):

Video from BYBORRE on circular yarns (in Dutch):

Video of Judith Kolen, Front Office Manager at Hotel Casa Amsterdam, about circular hotel linen (in Dutch):

Video of Network Council members OLVG and Reade about protective clothing in healthcare (in Dutch):

Book ‘Ten Guiding Principles for Building a Circular Economy’

Board member Jacqueline Cramer has enormous experience in setting up and advancing numerous circular initiatives in the Netherlands, such as mattresses, diapers, biomass and circular construction and demolition materials. In her book, Cramer argues for the power of network management; by creating structure in the collaboration with roles and responsibilities between frontrunners within companies, knowledge institutions, governments, social organizations and citizen initiatives. Her second book with an international perspective will be published in early March. Read more here.

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