The British Fashion Council (BFC)’s Institute of Positive Fashion (IPF) first flagship research initiative is the Waste Ecosystem Project.
The research will lead to a focused action-driven plan, detailing solutions for how the fashion industry can responsibly manage inventory, reduce, and move to circular business operations. The research will look at actions and infrastructures needed in key areas and outline a proposal for change across the whole value chain, and other key areas of the industry such as Education and Training, Collections and Recycling infrastructure, Textile Recycling Innovations, Upcycling and Consumer Mindset. The project’s ambition is to fast-track the move to a circular fashion industry in the UK and act as a blueprint to share with other organisations and nations to look at their efforts in creating a circular fashion industry globally.
The fashion industry’s environmental impact is substantial; the industry accounts for 4% of all global carbon emissions and the 2019 Pulse report states that the global textiles industry will be accountable for ¼ of the world’s carbon budget by 2050 without radical action. According to The Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) approximately 11 million items of clothing go into landfill each year.
Focusing on collaboration and the creation of a circular fashion industry in the UK, the Waste Ecosystem Project will work with industry, academia, and Government across three areas:
Global Research: Market assessment to find best practice and innovation, culminating in a research paper to set out the proposed parameters and requirements for enabling the UK fashion industry to become circular.
Proposal for Change: from the research findings, set out the guidelines and a roadmap as a proposal for change
Implementation: working with businesses and Government, the final phase will look at a programme for implementing best practice in the UK
The BFC is delighted to welcome Vanish, part of Reckitt Benckiser, as a Founding Partner of the IPF to support this Research stage of the Waste Ecosystem Project. The new partnership will also see Vanish become the BFC’s official Garment Care Partner and establish a year-long consumer education programme to embed more sustainable fashion behaviours in collaboration with industry experts, fashion influencers and thought leaders. Vanish will also sponsor London Fashion Week, helping raise awareness of circular fashion to a wider consumer audience. Bringing together the BFC’s collective power of the fashion industry with Varnish’s deep insight into consumer behaviours relating to washing, caring, and wearing clothes, the partnership aims to provide the necessary tools and expertise to make a responsible wardrobe more easily achievable.
To mark World Ocean Day, Cyrill Gutsch, CEO and Founder of Parley for the Oceans, also joined the BFC advisory board and the IPF steering committee, and Caroline Rush, BFC CEO also joined the advisory board of Parley for the Oceans.
The move is designed to create a long-term partnership between these world-leading organisations to encourage positive change within the fashion industry. The result of this partnership will involve pro-active projects for students, education and mentoring, with Parley providing dedicated missions for the BFC and IPF network. The BFC and IPF network will help raise awareness for Ocean Conservation and, in line with the IPF environment pillar’s initial focus on reducing waste, the organisations will support Parley on a campaign to phase out single-use plastics as part of its commitment to Parley AIR (Avoid. Intercept. Redesign), Parley’s strategy to end marine plastic pollution.
More on the Waste Ecosystem Project
More on the BFC's partnership with Parley for the Oceans