Condemning the fashion industry as “incredibly wasteful and harmful to the environment,” designer Stella McCartney announced her partnership with environmental activist (and woman who once sailed around the world) Dame Ellen MacArthur to call for change.

“Clothes are an everyday necessity, and for many an important expression of individuality,” A new textiles economy: Redesigning fashion’s future reports. “Yet the industry’s current take-make-dispose model is the root cause of many environmental impacts and substantial economic value loss. Every second, the equivalent of one garbage truck of textiles is landfilled or burned. An estimated USD 500 billion value is lost every year due to clothing that’s barely worn and rarely recycled. If nothing changes, by 2050 the fashion industry will use up a quarter of the world’s carbon budget.”

MacArthur, who also has the support of the C&A Foundation, H&M, and Nike for her report, is calling for a circular textile economy to make fashion more sustainable. Four actions would have to be taken for this to happen:

  • Phasing out substances of concern and microfiber release
  • Increase the utilization of clothing by supporting and promoting short-term clothing rental businesses
  • Radically improving recycling
  • Moving to renewable materials

Even the mayor of Phoenix, Arizona, is endorsing the report and supporting renewable efforts in his city. “Each year more than 18,000 tonnes of textiles find their way into … waste and recycling streams,” Mayor Greg Stanton said to the Guardian. “Our city is working on creative solutions to redirect textiles from the waste stream … as a valuable resource, to ultimately stimulate the local economy.”

You can read the report in full here.


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