22nd February 2023
To get a fuller picture and the necessary context about the issues raised in relation to the British used clothing industry you can read our full response here.
A new life-cycle assessment (LCA) commissioned by the European textile reuse and recycling industry has confirmed the significant CO2 and water savings of reusing textiles compared to producing new clothing. The environmental impact of reusing textiles is 70 times lower, even when accounting for global exports for reuse including transport emissions.
To read more click here.
Following the publication of the EU Textiles Strategy today, the Textile Recycling Association is calling for a holistic approach to be taken by stakeholders to address UK textile supply chain, with steps to increase re-use and recycling forming a cornerstone.
In the strategy the EU have proposed to ensure that clothing and textile products put on the market are fit for circularity. Products need to be durable, kept in use for longer and designed for eventual recycling in mind. If such measures were introduced in the UK this would support members of the Textile Recycling Association to collect clothing for re-use which significantly reduces demand for new clothing and CO2 emissions.
The UK is leading the solution to clothing re-use and recycling, say textile industry chiefs, and we can all play a vital role.
Responding to recent reports that environment ministers in Chile are calling for a stop to unsold clothing being dumped in the Atacama desert, the Textile Recycling Association (TRA) – which represents collectors, graders and processors of used clothing and textiles across the country – has said that the UK market is not the problem.
Press Release – 18th October 2021
To mark WRAP’s Textiles Action Week (18th to 22nd October 2021), four used textile sorting businesses are opening their doors to supporters of Textiles 2030. Visitors to the sorting plants, Savanna Rags (Mansfield), East London Textiles, SWD Clothing (Manchester) and Chris Carey’s Collections in South East London, will be able to see how these businesses put the mixed used textiles they collect through a detailed sorting process to separate reusable clothing and other textile items, from those that have to be recycled and ensure that contamination is removed.
The global fashion supply chain is estimated to account for around 10% of global greenhouse gas emissions which is more than the aviation and maritime industry combined.
It is also the fourth most impactful industry on the environment and is responsible for around 20% of all global freshwater pollution incidents. The over-irrigation of cotton plantations in central Asia has led to one of the biggest environmental disasters of all-time with the disappearance of the Aral Sea.
However, the good news is, that despite its tiny size, compared to the global fashion industry, the global used clothing industry has been shown is reducing many of these impacts.
A variety of associations involved in the used clothing trade around the world have joined forces to dispel myths about the industry. The truth is that the used clothing industry is gaining momentum with tremendous environmental, social, and economic benefits. The industry is working towards a circular economy by offering sustainable solutions for used textiles that will benefit everyone and help to reduce the major environmental impacts caused by the global fashion industry.
Following the announcement by the UK Government of its intention to consult stakeholders by the end of 2022 on options for textiles, such as an Extended Producer Responsibility scheme, the Textile Recycling Association is calling upon stakeholders from across the UK clothing supply chain to rally round and work together to deliver a truly robust and sustainable UK fashion and textile industry.
The Textile Recycling Association (TRA), the UK’s only recognised trade association for collectors and processors of used clothing and textiles is reminding local authorities, landowners and charities of the importance of undertaking due diligence before they appoint any new clothing/textile bank operators to operate in their area. The association is hearing of increasing incidents where local authorities in particular have appointed new textile bank operators that do not have the correct licenses, permits or exemptions in place let alone any significant experience in the areas of textile bank collections. Working with such textile collectors runs the risk of reputational damage and could undermine the financial security of professional operators that are needed more than ever to help tackle the very real problems of climate change that are being caused by our increased consumption of fashion and textiles.
The Textile Recycling Association is calling upon the Government to ensure that the review on Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) on clothing and textiles which they committed to in the Waste Strategy for England 2018 is completed by 2022. In this paper the Textile Recycling Association has highlighted the huge environmental and social impacts associated with the UK’s clothing supply chain which makes the case for completing this review at the earliest opportunity compelling and absolutely necessary. The paper also cites eight key issues would be necessary to address in order to deliver a robust and comprehensive EPR framework, that would deliver substantial sustainable improvements across the clothing supply chain and a truly circular economy for the clothing and textile industry.
To view the full position paper click here.
To view the executive summary click here.
Today the Kenyan Government has issued a new protocol that will allow the importation of used clothing/textiles and shoes to resume.
The protocol provides information on what they consider to be best practices on the importation and sale of used textiles and shoes and how the supply chain operators must conduct their operations whilst ensuring the health and safety of the sellers, importers, wholesalers and buyers from the risk of spread of COVID 19.
Following the broadcast of two reports featured back to back on ITV’s News at Ten (18th February 2020), the Textile Recycling Association is restating its position that their must be better regulation of the sector and existing regulation around the exports of used clothing need to be enforced more robustly. There should be no waste in any shipments of used clothing destined directly for sale into African retail markets.
A new accreditation standard for recyclers who trade with charity shops, local authorities, waste management companies and others has been launched on 9th September 2019. TRUST – Trader Recycling Universal Standard – is the outcome of a coalition dedicated to boost standards within the recycling sector.