Importance of textiles' re-use and recycling
Textiles and clothing are essential to our everyday life. Since 1975, the global production of textile fibers has almost tripled. Textile fibers are mostly synthetic (60%), with polyester being the most widely used fiber. Cotton is the most widely used organic fiber but accounts only for 37% of the fibers used. Textiles are the fourth largest contributor to resource’s use and greenhouse gas emissions accounting respectively for the share of textiles consumed in the EU-28 to 1321kg/person and 654kg CO2-eq/person in 20171.
Textiles re-use and recycling activities contribute to preserve textile fibers in the circular economy and save the equivalent of up to 98% of CO2 when compared with the use of virgin materials2. They therefore play a vital role to enhance the circularity of textiles.
1ETC/WMGE 2019/6, Textiles and the environment in a circular economy (2019), European Environment Agency.
2Impact Assessment of ADEME & FEDEREC assessing recycling environmental benefits based on a LCA approach, April 2017.
EuRIC Textiles aims at promoting, representing and protecting the collective interests of the European textiles re-use and recycling industry. This industry consists of companies and organizations who collect, sort for re-use and recycling, transport and market used textiles, shoes and accessories. The Textiles Branch was founded in 2019 when textiles re-use and recycling became one of the top priorities within the European Union.
EuRIC Textiles Members are national re-use and recycling federations as well as companies in lieu active throughout Europe in the field of collecting and processing post-consumer textiles.
The primary focus of EuRIC Textiles will be:
- Monitoring the implementation of the EU’s Textiles Strategy;
- Promoting extended producer responsibility (EPR) for new textiles with eco-modulation of fees;
- Supporting eco-design criteria for textiles;
- Encouraging end-of-waste (EoW) criteria for textiles which have been prepared for re-use;
- Foster recycled content targets for textiles to pull the demand for quality recycled fibers.
EuRIC Textiles Branch's main objectives are:
To monitor and analyze at EU level all legal, environmental, economic and technical issues relating to the collection, sorting, preparing for re-use, recycling, transporting and marketing of used textiles, shoes and accessories.
To ensure a proper representation of the European textile re-use and recycling sector to the European institutions and liaise with relevant private associations inside and outside the EU.
To provide expert inputs on any EU policy and regulatory initiative which could have an impact on the collection, sorting, preparing for re-use, recycling, transporting and marketing of used textiles, shoes and accessories.
To promote a fit-for-purpose regulatory framework which incentivizes the re-use and recycling of used textiles, shoes and accessories.
To maintain a link between the European national member federations, in strict observance of relevant legal requirements.
EuRIC Textiles Branch Members & Partners