Danish textile companies launch sectoral agreement for a more circular industry
This week, the Danish Ministry of Environment, ten clothing and textile companies, and three organisations unveils a new initiative to work together to reduce the industry’s footprint. A special exhibition this week showcases more than 40 good examples.
9 Aug 2022

The consumption of clothing and textiles is increasing in Europe — it is estimated that an average European consumes 15kg of clothing and textiles per year. European consumption of textiles is in fourth place with the largest negative impact on both the environment and climate, after food, housing, and transport. Textile consumption in the EU is expected to increase by 63% towards 2030. 

Copenhagen Fashion Week takes place this week through fairs, shows and meetings across the industry. Now, companies, organisations and the Ministry of Environment have come together to set a number of common targets including that all clothing and textiles from participating Danish companies must consist of at least 40% recycled material by 2030. The agreement asks for textiles and clothes to be designed for longevity and for a larger part of the turnover to come from recycled materials.

— Our consumption is far too high, and it wears down the planet’s scarce resources. We have to get away from the use-and-throw-away culture, like the fashion industry today is characterised by. It resonates in the industry and internationally when Danish textile companies — large and small — undertake to reduce their climate and environmental footprint. Denmark must be among the leaders in the green transformation of the fashion and textile industry, says the Minister of the Environment, Lea Wermelin.

The participating brands and organisations currently include AIAYU, Ganni (pictured above), Bestseller, DK-Company, Miljøstyrelsen, Dansk Mode & Textil, Wear/Dansk Erhverv, and Lifestyle & Design Cluster. Maria Glæsel, director of fashion company Aiayu, has been elected as the person in charge of the sector collaboration. She explains that the fact that the industry and the ministry are collaborating on the circular restructuring requires both the goodwill of companies and structural changes:

— It is important that we bring the industry together in a common direction, and that is why I am proud to be appointed as the front person. My wish is that we can bring industry players together for common goals and exchange experiences that lead to action. Only together can we meet the major challenges facing the industry. It is important for the industry that the minister supports it, because the transition will also require structural changes, and a sectoral collaboration can help us with a joint circular transition.

The goals in the agreement will be operationalized in action plans and the industry can decide to set further goals later on in the collaboration. Targets and requirements are drawn up with an outlook on future requirements in the EU with the aim that Danish takeaways can play a role in the implementation of initiatives under the EU’s textile strategy. An overall baseline is developed across the sector so that the overall progress of the sector cooperation can be measured and data is collected from the participating companies with the goal to monitor the goals.

The sector collaboration will be expanded to include Norway, Sweden and Finland from 2023.

This week, the CIFF trade fair in Copenhagen presents Circular Fashion & Textile Days. Curated by the national business cluster Lifestyle & Design Cluster, the exhibition shows more than 40 forward-thinking Danish fashion and textile brands.

— For more than a decade, we’ve been a bridge-builder between fashion-, furniture- and design companies and knowledge institutions working with the circular economy. At Circular Fashion & Textile Days, we wish to show how new ways of working have a great impact on our future through Danish fashion- and textile brands, platform- and service providers displaying how they work with circularity as part of their business model. Some of the exhibitors have built their business on circular principles — others are in the process of adapting their existing business to embrace elements of circularity, says Steen Ancher, communications manager, Lifestyle & Design Cluster. He adds:

— Becoming circular is a process and all the exhibitors work with several circular economy themes. For educational purposes the exhibition and exhibitors are categorised into five main themes within the circular economy: Design for Circularity; Sourcing Materials; Production & Distribution; Use, and Recycling & Reuse. It is the second year that we present this exhibition and we’ll also have talks during the exhibition, that can be followed both live and afterwards.