Guidance for fashion companies on design for recycling

Updated : October 2020


  • Senior or top management
  • Textile and fashion designers
  • Textile industry sustainability professionals
  • Textile waste management professionals
Textile recycling is often framed as a solution to either one of two important questions: What is the best use of textile waste, environmentally and resource-wise? and how do we make the textile industry (environmentally) sustainable? While the first question is material-focused, the latter focuses on the textile industry. Textile recycling is one of many possible interventions that can be applied for reducing the total environmental impact of the textile industry. The report primarily intended to provide guidance into 1) opportunities for using recycled materials in new products, as well as 2) assuring that fashion products are designed to be recyclable at their end-of-life. The report discusses how to assure legal compliance, maximise the environmental benefits, optimise the scale and location of collection, sorting and recycling facilities, and it provides recommendations for moving towards a defined number of well-selected material blends that are also preferable from a use and wear perspective. Finally, the report describes the status of textile recycling today and what is needed to establish recycling on a larger scale and achieve circular material loops. Much of the content is relevant for any actor with an interest in textile recycling globally, but there is a specific focus on the Swedish and Nordic context.

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Legal compliance and policy instruments in textile waste recycling

Opportunities for using recycled materials in new fashion products

Environmental savings as rationale for textile waste recycling

Policies related to circular textile economy

Extended producer responsibility for recycling textile waste

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