The Textile Exchange and the Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Action has initiated a collaborative campaign to encourage a further transition in the market for the use of recycled polyester (rPET) and the elimination of greenhouse gas emissions that comes with it (GHGs).
The 2025 Recycled Polyester Challenge, which already has 85 brands and suppliers on board, seeks to be a critical driver for transformation in the apparel and textile industries. The rPET Challenge asks the fashion industry to commit to raising the global percentage of recycled polyester to 45% by 2025, or 17.1 million metric tonnes, up from 14% currently. The Challenge builds on the momentum established by Textile Exchange's 2017 Recycled Polyester Commitment.
The 2025 Recycled Polyester Challenge challenges companies to agree to the most aggressive uptake goal possible. Brands must adhere to a high percentage of rPET in order to meet the 45% recycled volume goal by 2025 and to create a critical mass to achieve an absolute 90% recycled volume share by 2030, according to the organizations.
The sustainability and research and development manager at the Norwegian outdoor apparel maker, Rebecca Johansson said that Helly Hansen is dedicated to lowering its reliance on fossil energy as well as its total environmental impact. They agree that switching to recycled raw materials is a significant step toward that goal, and they are honored to be a member of the joint industry initiative's founding cohort.
Some of the other brands that have committed to date include H&M Group, House of Baukjen, Inditex Group, Adidas, Athleta, Aware (by The Movement), Itochu Corporation Textile Material section, Banana Republic, Focus Têxtil, Outerknown, Pact, prAna, Reformation, Sympatex Technologies, G-Star Raw, J.Crew, Nudie Jeans, Varner, Lululemon Athletica, Madewell, Mantis World, Mara Hoffman, Moose Knuckles, VF Corp., and White + Warren.
Polyester (PET) is the most commonly used fiber in the apparel industry, accounting for about 52% of the total amount of fibers manufactured globally, according to the Textile Exchange Preferred Fiber & Materials Market Report 2020. Around 32 million tonnes of the 57 million tonnes of polyester used per year are used in the clothing industry. Just about 14% of this is currently derived from recycled materials, mostly post-consumer PET bottles.
Mechanically recycled polyester from plastic water bottles accounts for the vast majority of recycled polyester today, but chemical recycling, textile to textile recycling, and other advanced technology will be needed to meet the target, according to the organizations.
Companies who agree to this program will be expected to report their polyester use to Textile Exchange's Corporate Fiber and Materials Benchmark (CFMB) survey on an annual basis, which will measure progress against the joint target for all participating brands.
To prove results, all details submitted into the CFMB is confidential and aggregated through all annual report members. Without a company's express permission or approval, company details can never be singled out and written. Brands must report once a year by the CFMB deadline, but they have the choice of participating in the whole benchmark or reporting only polyester volumes.
Director of sustainability at Reformation, Carrie Freiman said they've all been adamant about not using traditional synthetics at Reformation (aka fossil-fuel fabrics). Taking part in the 2025 rPET Challenge is a wonderful display of cross-industry dedication to a more prosperous environment and aligns with their brand's circularity and climate action commitments.
Textile Exchange will report on the 2025 rPET Challenge on an annual basis, using volume data from 2019 as a baseline, in order to meet Textile Exchange's and the Fashion Charter's overall commitment to staying within the 1.5-degree pathway.
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A weekly report covering market and price information on the entire chain of polyester along with online access to daily polyester chain prices.
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