Given its resource intensity, the European Commission has identified the textiles sector as a priority for the Circular Economy. An important measure is the mandatory separate collection of discarded textiles as of 2025. Finding suitable outlets for these increasing volumes of collected textiles is a challenge. Currently its non-reusable fraction is mostly downcycled or incinerated, less than 1% of textile waste is recycled into new textile fibres. In the meantime, clothing brands set ambitious targets for the use of recycled fibres in their products. Unfortunately their quality and the price tag of current recycling processes are not aligned with market needs/demand. SCIRT aims to support systemic innovation towards a more circular fashion system and bridge this supply-demand gap. Starting from the demand side needs, SCIRT demonstrates an entire textile-to-textile recycling system for post-consumer textiles, focusing on the recycling of natural and synthetic fibres, as well as fibre blends. All relevant players along the value chain are involved, from collector to retailer. By focusing on the recycling of textiles often downcycled today, value retention is improved throughout the value chain. Not only will the business case for individual actors be validated, the overall system implications will be quantified from a financial, environmental and social life-cycle perspective. Besides the technological innovations required, SCIRT addresses enabling conditions and supporting measures facilitating the transition towards a circular system for apparel. A True Cost Model will be developed and an eco-modulated EPR system will be set up, aiming at increased value chain transparency. Special attention is given to the consumer perspective. A consumer behavioural flow intervention will be developed to impact their decision making on the purchase and disposal of textiles. Throughout the project, stakeholder involvement and validation is guaranteed via an advisory board.
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FinanzierungsplanIA - Innovation action