In March 2020, the European Commission adopted the New Circular Economy Action Plan (CEAP), as part of the European Green Deal, the agenda for sustainable growth.
The need to switch to an environmentally and socially sustainable -still competitive- economy comes from simple, but disturbing, evidence.
As reported in the official document of the New Circular Economy Action Plan:
There is only one planet Earth, yet by 2050, the world will be consuming as if there were three.
Therefore, the green EU transition towards a circular economy aims to reduce the use of natural resources without affecting economic growth. The ultimate goal is climate neutrality by 2050.
The role of the textile industry
Every year, businesses within the EU produce 2.5 billion tons of waste, while each citizen produces almost half a ton of waste. In particular, citizens throw away 11 kg of textile products every year.
At the same time, global textile production nearly doubled between 2000 and 2015, but clothing and footwear consumption is expected to increase by 63% by 2030. Unfortunately, less than 1% of all textile products in the world are recycled.
In addition, the textile industry ranks fourth for consumption of raw materials and water, and fifth for greenhouse gas emissions.
In this context, it is clear that textiles are one of the products on which the New Circular Economy Action Plan focuses most.
The EU wants to increase the competitiveness and innovation of the sector by favoring circular economic models. This means many things. For example, discourage Fast Fashion production and encourage the reuse of textile products.