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Zero Waste Europe sets essential criteria for zero waste fashion business models in the context of the EU Textiles Strategy

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Brussels, 17 January 2023

Zero Waste Europe (ZWE) has set four essential criteria for mapping zero waste fashion business models, urging decision-maker s and the fashion industry to look beyond product circularity and ecodesign.

The latest ZWE report, Beyond Circular Fashion – a new business model for the fashion industry, maps the state-of-play of today’s fast fashion business model, which is based on overconsumption, resource depletion, social exploitation, fossil-based fibres, and greenwashing.

Published in the context of the EU Textiles Strategy, the report states that existing approaches and initiatives to making fashion fair and sustainable, while an important step forward, are insufficient in addressing harmful business models.

To reverse the current trend and pave the way for business models that fully comply with the circular economy and planetary boundaries, ZWE’s report identifies four essential criteria that must be simultaneously met:

  1. Design for physical and emotional durability;
  2. Demand-driven production to phase out unsolds and discounts;
  3. Full supply chain transparency and traceability post-sale;
  4. Extending the use-phase after first ownership.

Theresa Morsen, Waste Policy Officer at ZWE, stated: ‘With this report we are establishing guidance for businesses to become truly sustainable, ending overproduction and consumption to respect planetary boundaries. This will help scaling up sustainable business models and ZWE intends to empower pioneers in this field.’

The Beyond Circular Fashion report follows the footsteps of ZWE’s New Energy for Europe manifesto (November 2022). In the manifesto, ZWE urges the European Union to replace the current economic growth model with a new project based on wellbeing, sufficiency and resilience – with special attention paid to the need for resource use reduction and efficiency to respect planetary boundaries.

The full Beyond Circular Fashion report can be downloaded HERE.


Notes to Editors

For further insight into ZWE’s strategic priorities for 2023 and beyond, please read:

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