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Accelerating Circularity Launches European Project

Accelerating Circularity has launched of a new project based in Europe as it builds on its work researching, mapping, modeling and linking circular textile-to-textile systems in the United States.

“We think of successful projects as those that can be repeated and scaled to maximize their impact,” founder and president Karla Magruder said. “The launch of Accelerating Circularity Europe exemplifies this approach and advances our goal of enabling the industry to achieve a scaled, global, circular textile system.”

The founding members of Accelerating Circularity Europe’s Steering Committee represent global retail, circular supply chains and textile recycling, including DuPont Biomaterials, European Outdoor Group, GIZ, Gr3n, Inditex, Lenzing, Recover, Recyclatex Group, Reverse Resources, Texaid and Zalando.

“We are excited to join the ACPE Steering Committee to advance the industry in the ‘end of life’ product stage,” Laura Coppen, head of circularity at Zalando, said. “With our reach as a platform, we can contribute to scaling circular textile systems and move away from linear to circular business practices. To do that we need to collaborate across the industry to scale solutions quickly, and we believe this project does just that.”

Coppen said Zalando’s circularity strategy aims to integrate the principles of circularity into its business, with brand partners and for its customers.

“We aim to ensure that products don’t end up in landfill or are incinerated and we see this project as a great way to learn and build better systems in the long term,” she said.

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The Steering Committee will set the strategy and make decisions for the European project. It will convene a Brand and Retailer Working Group for the development of take-back programs and circular product specifications. Select collectors, recyclers and preprocessors will comprise a Spent Textile Working Group to address challenges in collection, sorting and feedstock preparation. As in the U.S., the European project will unfold in phases, starting with research and mapping, and modeling and linking, and then going into trials and evaluation.

There are multiple ways to participate in the project, it said. NGOs can become Collaborating Organizations, a network of complementary and mutually supportive entities that amplify the work. Companies can join the technical working groups and can also become System Partners once the project launches the trial phase.

Accelerating Circularity is a collaborative industry project developed to accelerate the textile industry’s move from linear to circular. It was founded in 2019 with a mission to establish systems that will use the embedded value and resources in existing textiles for new products, reducing the millions of tons of textile waste annually going into landfills and supporting the reduction of the industry’s GHG emissions.