A new group launched in the United States aims to unite the fashion industry's circularity community in developing supporting legislation to solve the problems of expanding domestic textile recycling and end-of-life solutions.
Circular Services Group (CSG) and Resource Recycling Systems (RRS), together with 11 other founding members, launched the newly created American Circular Textiles (ACT) policy group.
ACT is working to advance circular textile policy in the United States, with an initial emphasis on textile reuse.
Rachel Kibbe, CEO of CSG, and Marisa Ader, senior consultant from RRS, realized the urgent need for a formal working body to represent the interests of circular fashion and its stakeholders after gathering a large group of stakeholders to endorse New York's Fashion Sustainability and Social Accountability Act (A8352/S7428), with recommendations that circularity policy is included in the bill. According to Kibbe and Adler, ACT is a "key missing component in getting the research, finance, and legislative backing that the circular economy will require to grow in the United States."
ACT will host learning sessions and workshops to facilitate an open discussion about the challenges of expanding reuse. Its 2022 goal is to agree on and publish a position paper by the end of the year proposing industry-supported regulatory tools to enhance textile reuse, a preferred materials management solution that begins at the top of the circular economy waste hierarchy. Local and state lawmakers, policymakers, and government officials will be targeted by the position paper.
ACT will onboard additional select circular economy service providers in the coming weeks, including repair organizations, brands and retailers, industry NGOs, non-profits, academic institutions, and government agencies. The organization presents itself as action-oriented, stating that it will encourage open debate about the fashion industry's specific circular economy concerns, reach a consensus on supporting policy proposals, and share learnings with external stakeholders.
To handle textile end-of-life concerns comprehensively, ACT's scope will be expanded in 2023 to include textile recyclers and other stakeholders in the circular economy value chain. The long-term goal of ACT is to create a formal organization to assist firms and organizations participating in the circular economy in the clothing and footwear industries.
Megan Farrell, director of sustainability at Rent the Runway, said that as a pioneer in re-commerce, Rent the Runway has always believed in the power of wearing and enjoying clothes to their maximum potential as a method to reduce the vast amount of waste generated by the industry. They need solutions that will help scale textile recycling and reuse once a garment has reached the end of its wearing life to take their collaborative endeavor to the next level. They are excited to join ACT and work together to further this critical mission.
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