A different life for our clothes

More reuse, more recycling and less textile waste: various parties within the Green Deal for Circular Textiles are working hard on this. During the fourth meetup, we discussed the AnotherLife initiative. Brands, governments and retailers are working closely together for this consumer campaign. Is your company also participating?

Textile is an important sector for the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area. Not only because its pollution has an effect on our region, but also because it is an economically large sector.

Sharing initiatives

The Green Deal for Circular Textiles aims to sustainably strengthen this sector that is so important to the region, Claire Teurlings explains at the fourth meetup on this subject. The organization behind the Green Deal consists of a working group and a steering group. Parties from the entire chain are represented in the steering group. The group is working on a proposal for a roadmap and a clear vision for the Green Deal for Circular Textiles. During the next meetup, on January 27, we will discuss this.

After a year and a half, there are already nine partial initiatives. Claire highlights some of them.

Circular hotel linen > The aim of this initiative is to realize a longer lifespan for hotel linen and also that by 2025 a quarter of hotel linen will consist of post-consumer textiles. “The great thing is that the pioneering group of sustainable hotels in Amsterdam is part of this deal and is discussing this subject with its chain partners,” says Claire. A special part of this initiative is the calculation tool with which alternatives to traditional linen can be objectively compared. If you would like to join in, please contact Froukje Anne Karsten of the Municipality of Amsterdam.

Knowledge and education > The textile knowledge institutions also have a great ambition: fully circular teaching programs in 2025. The fashion students of RoCs, Fashion Academy Amsterdam, Master’s degree program Coupeur, HvA and AMFI, for example, on assignments together. The first light rounds off this with a beautiful presentation. Curious about the results, let Claire Teurlings know.

Work clothes> Governments in the MRA have agreed that they will follow the circular procurement guideline for workwear and textiles going to apply. That could be a nice boost for the circular off-the-shelf softshell jacket that is currently being developed by a number of front runners. Read the report here.

United Repair Services> The aim of this initiative is to extend the life of clothing in the MRA with good repair services that brands can offer to their customers. Various organizations are working together on a business case and pilots. “A conclusive business case now seems possible”, says Claire.

Read more about all sharing initiatives here.

Good cooperation, too few consumers

During a round of questions via Mentimeter, several attendees say they are proud of the cooperation that already exists in the Green Deal. “That is indeed a huge progress” , Claire says. “Before the deal was concluded, many great things had already happened, but the parties did not know each other what they were doing or even that it was already there. The Green Deal helps to start collaborations.”

Because of that network, Julie Fuchs, the sustainability coordinator of the Dutch National Opera & Ballet, is joining for the first time today. “We buy a lot of textiles and make our own costumes. I want to improve our purchasing policy and textiles are an important part of this.” Julie is now talking to one of the partners who can help her with this.

Most of those present still miss the consumers as a target group in the sharing initiatives. “After all, that’s where the most impact is ,” someone says. Another: “The initiatives now pay a lot of attention to production, but if we ensure that the products stay with people longer, less production is needed and you have no waste. So we have to get into the minds of those consumers.”

Campaign AnotherLife

The reactions form a nice bridge to one of the initiatives: the consumer campaign AnotherLife, on which retailers, brands and governments have been working behind the scenes for a few months now. “Too much textile still ends up in the waste” , explains Maaike Osieck, who works on this campaign from the Board. “With this campaign, we want to plant a seed with consumers, change their view of textiles and make them think about how they can give their clothes a different life.”

The Municipality of Amsterdam is an important driving force behind this initiative. Interested parties can join. “The idea is that we will launch the campaign in February, during the Week of the Circular Economy,” says Maaike. “We try to reach the media in this, including with a joint statement from the participants.” The first step is to show what is happening in the region under this umbrella and what the options are for consumers. But the campaign should not be a one-hit wonder: in the coming years, the campaign will focus on the subject in various ways.

This phased approach is one of the success factors. But also: that the participants use their own resources to reach the largest possible group. And that small and large organizations help each other.

Extend lifespan

Renske Lambert of O’Neill has joined the Green Deal in various ways. “The repair part is especially interesting for us,” she explains. “Our products are quite technical, which makes it complicated. Not every tailor can do that, so we’re looking at how we can go about it. But we want to help consumers extend the life of our products. Awareness of the value of textiles plays a major role and that is why I find the campaign so interesting.

Not in the container

It is clear that there are great opportunities for consumers. This is how Roosmarie Ruigrok of the Municipality of Amsterdam & REFLOW project explains: “We know from research that 30 percent of what we have in our wardrobe no longer wears because it’s broken. Most people end up throwing that away (with residual waste) , because the perception is that broken clothing is not allowed in the textile container.” And she talks about the success of the discount that people with a city pass receive on clothing repairs: “This has already repaired 3,000 additional items of clothing in 2.5 months.”

The campaign also focuses explicitly on all sustainable fashion/textile companies in the city. For example, also the conscious shopping route that will be launched in February. For this purpose, small and medium-sized businesses, multi-brand shops, tailors and, for example, vintage shops have been mapped out.

Today’s participants have plenty of additional suggestions. Shouldn’t we introduce the campaign nationally? Shouldn’t we mainly be reaching secondary school students who buy fast fashion? And should we stop focusing on reduction at all?

These are all questions that will be included in the further design of the campaign. Do you or your organization also want to participate? You can join until January 10 by sending an email to m.osieck@amecboard.com.

During the next Community Meetup #5 Circular Textiles on January 27, we will provide an update on the campaign. We will also discuss the vision and roadmap there for what the steering committee of the Green Deal Circular Textiles will develop a concept in collaboration with various experts in the coming weeks will draft. are you there and would you like to talk about this ? Then sign up here!

9 December 2021

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