Textiles in FocusTextiles in Focus<div class="ExternalClass05EF7B466A304ADA88660C06A3CF2315"><p>In Canada close to two million tonnes of textiles is disposed to landfill, 95 percent of which is reusable or recyclable. Although reuse networks are long established, they process only a fraction of post-consumer textiles and significant scope exists for bigger and bolder change to significantly scale waste prevention and reduction. And while some suggest that the fashion industry may be one of the most environmentally damaging industries in the world, efforts by business, government and even citizens are starting to transform the industry – supporting more sustainable approaches to the design, manufacture, production and marketing of textiles, as well the purchase and use of clothing. </p><p> Outdoor clothing manufacturer Patagonia recognized the opportunities of preventing textile waste with the introduction of closed-loop recycling in 2005. This is part of the company’s <a href="http://www.patagonia.com/ca/common-threads" target="_blank"> Common Threads</a> initiative, which encourages customers to buy only what they need, and to wear, repair and keep items in circulation for as long as possible. Toronto-based <a href="https://rentfrockrepeat.com/" target="_blank"> Rent Frock Repeat</a> provides an online dress rental service removing the need to buy expensive, rarely worn dresses. <a href="http://dutchawearness.com/" target="_blank"> DutchaWEARness</a>, a finalist at the Global Young Leaders’ Circular Economy Awards, offers a work wear service. Elsewhere, companies like <a href="http://www.bondedlogic.com/" target="_blank"> Bonded Logic</a> manufacture insulation on an industrial scale from discarded denim, and <a href="http://www.wear-2.com/" target="_blank">Wear2</a> has developed an original seaming technique that can simply be pulled apart when microwaved, making selective disassembly, de- and re-branding easy. </p><p>In terms of government intervention, early signs indicate that a ban on textiles to landfill in Finland, scheduled to come into effect in 2016, is giving rise to innovation with researchers at the Valtion Teknillinen Tutkimuskeskus (VTT) Technical Research Centre developing methods for restoring worn-out fibre to good-as-new condition. And in the UK, the <a href="http://loveyourclothes.org.uk/" target="_blank"> Love Your Clothes Campaign</a> raises public awareness about the value of clothes, encouraging people to love, care and repair their clothing. Workshops on mending and sewing are held in major department stores, and clothing swaps and reuse are encouraged. This is part of a larger initiative – the <a href="http://www.wrap.org.uk/content/sustainable-clothing-action-plan-1" target="_blank"> Sustainable Clothing Action Plan</a>, spearheaded by WRAP UK in collaboration with industry to improve the sustainability of clothing across its lifecycle. </p><p>With so much great work being spearheaded elsewhere, what is the potential in Canada to work at the industry-level to encourage zero waste textiles and fashion? This was the focus of a special dialogue session hosted by Metro Vancouver in collaboration with <a href="http://ecofashion-week.com/" target="_blank"> Eco Fashion Week</a> on April 22, <a href="http://www.metrovancouver.org/media-room/video-gallery/dialogues-and-seminars/4200011750001" target="_blank"> <em>The Zero Waste Business Case for Textiles</em></a>.  This dialogue featured local Vancouver designer Glencorra Twigg of <a href="http://www.we3.ca/pages/twigg-hottie-home-of-we3-designs" target="_blank"> We3 Designs</a>, Tony Shumpert of <a href="http://www.valuevillage.com/impact" target="_blank"> Value Village</a>, Joy Mauro, the Founder of <a href="http://turnabout.ca/" target="_blank"> Turnabout</a>, and Wes Baker with <a href="http://debrand.ca/" target="_blank">deBrand</a>. To learn more, see the <a href="http://www.metrovancouver.org/media-room/video-gallery/metro-vancouver-close-up/4205131000001" target="_blank">Metro Vancouver Close Up </a> on Eco-Fashion Week, or watch the <a href="http://www.metrovancouver.org/media-room/video-gallery/dialogues-and-seminars/4200011750001" target="_blank">dialogue</a>. Moving forward, the National Zero Waste Council will continue to explore with leading industry stakeholders how to effectively scale up industry-wide change.</p> <a> </a></div>http://www.nzwc.ca/bulletin/PublishingImages/Spring-2015-Textiles.jpg2015-06-17T07:00:00ZGP0|#c2591d37-d237-45d0-98c3-e84ee55e5dad;L0|#0c2591d37-d237-45d0-98c3-e84ee55e5dad|June 2015;GTSet|#78f153b4-3e08-4266-8725-bd656ec40488<div class="ExternalClass1939BB6DEDE54D5D90A9CDD1545FA2F4"><p>​Failure of voluntary initiatives to divert significant volumes of textiles from landfill means alternative approaches are necessary.</p></div>