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European Clothing Action Plan

This is the last ECAP Newsletter!

Welcome to the final edition of the ECAP newsletter. Over the past 4 years we have been working with our partners, participants and supporters in cutting the environmental impact across the clothing supply chain, and the project is now coming to an end! This edition gives an update on what we have been up to in the last few months, highlights most recent project outputs and points you to valuable insights and resources for future use.

ECAP Summary Report 2019 - Driving circular fashion and textiles

ECAP completes this month with the publication of its summary report “Driving circular fashion and textiles”. The report details achievements, and signposts valuable resources including new guidance, white papers and key learnings - which are available to inspire and inform any business or government, in any country.

Key points:

  • Pilots with retailers and brands across Europe show the potential economic and environmental savings businesses can achieve through greater sustainable practices.
  • Partnerships and collaborations created across countries continue to deliver savings in carbon, water and reduced textile waste.
  • ECAP helps to inform and support EU policy on sustainable clothing.
  • Danish Fashion Institute (now Global Fashion Agenda) created the Design for Longevity platform in collaboration with designers and product developers across Europe.
  • The #LoveNotLandfill behavioural change campaign, led by the London Waste and Recycling Board (LWARB), focused on young Londoners interested in fast fashion through multiple communications channels.
  • WRAP surveyed consumer clothing-related behaviour in Denmark, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands and the UK to inform consumer initiatives to influence buying, care/repair and disposal behaviours to prolong garment life and divert clothing from landfill. Read the key findings of the surveys.
You can read the summary report (available in English, Danish and Dutch) and Press Release here

Latest news
In November 2019, the European Commission published a Guidance for separate collection of municipal waste; ECAP reports (on the diversity of used textiles collections across Europe, and on the impact of the quality of textiles collected for recycling on the economic viability of the operation,) have informed the Commission’s development of future policy on sustainable clothing. 
The Design For Longevity Platform 
When the European Clothing Action Plan (ECAP) programme completes on 31st December 2019, Global Fashion Agenda (GFA) will take over maintaining the Design for Longevity Platform

We do hope that you will want to continue receiving communications relating to Design for Longevity news from January 2020, but if you prefer not to be contacted by GFA or receive any further communications, you can click the unsubscribe link at the bottom of this email. 

Can’t wait to receive your next communication on this topic? - for inspiration, knowledge and tools for future-proof design now, see Design for Longevity Platform.
Consumer Behaviour Survey 2016-19

You may remember that we surveyed clothing-related behaviour in Denmark, Germany, Italy and The Netherlands in 2016, to inform consumer initiatives to influence buying, care/repair and disposal behaviours to prolong garment life and divert clothing from landfill. Follow-up research this year found that:

  • Denmark and Italy saw more clothes donated to charity and community shops as a result, while second-hand purchases rose across all nations
  • There was a significant increase in how long clothes were kept (from 3.8 years to 4.4 years) in Germany
  • More UK citizens were laundering at 30 degrees, rather than 40 degrees 
Survey results are now available in a 2016-19 consumer research summary here.
Summary Report - Quantified reduction of environmental impact for brands and retailers
As part of ECAP, 12 retailers and brands participated in an action area to develop, implement and measure the carbon, water, and waste footprint savings of a sustainable fibre strategy.

Insights and results highlights included:
  • Better (BCI) cotton was the most used sustainable cotton option, with its main advantage over organic cotton being cited as its lower premium 
  • Sustainable alternatives to viscose were also used extensively, particularly modal and lyocell
  • Total sustainable fibre usage by the participants increased by over 29,000 tonnes
Read the summary report and see case studies to find out more.

New Case Studies


Fibre to Fibre Recycling of Textiles: Suitsupply Case Study

Read about how Suitsupply produced jackets made with 5% post-consumer wool from discarded suits (Suitsupply), 5% industrial textile waste (wool) and 90% virgin merino wool. Find the full case study here


Textile Collection Analysis - ReShare Case Study

Under ECAP, Leger des Heils ReShare ran a trial to collect more textiles by adding more clothing banks in Utrecht. Read about the challenges they faced when the levels of contaminated waste increased, in the full case study here


Latest news from #LoveNotLandfill
The second #LoveNotLandfill pop-up shop ran in November 2019, in a great location in Covent Garden, and more than doubled its footfall and sales compared to 2018. An amazing £23k was made for the charities involved, and over 4,500 people visited the shop and came away with some stylish second-hand bargains.
#LoveNotLandfill will now be continuing beyond ECAP, with core funding from LWARB, as the campaign has had real impact in London amongst young fast fashion fans. If you’re interested in partnering with the campaign, getting involved or learning more over the coming year, please contact Hannah Carter – – who will continue to run the campaign in 2020.
In other #LoveNotLandfill news, their clothing banks in a few key locations across London have succeeded in collecting almost 15 tonnes of clothes over the past year. While tonnage collection was not the primary goal of the campaign, this has been a happy side-effect of their activity. A number of the banks have now also been placed on six inner city housing estates.

Introducing SCAP

You may be interested to see the latest results and reports from WRAP's Sustainable Clothing Action Plan (SCAP).
SCAP is a network of organisations across the clothing supply chain, from brands and retailers to charities re-use and recycling organisations, working together to tackle the environmental impact of the clothing industry. Recent figures reveal that SCAP has had major success in reducing the carbon and water impact of the clothing that SCAP signatories sell, re-use and recycle. With a target to reduce carbon and water by 15% by 2020, signatories to SCAP has already reached the water target, and are well on their way to doing the same with carbon.

Alongside these results, WRAP has published data from the latest Textiles Market Situation report showing that we are throwing more clothes into landfill than in previous years and has also recently released the Microfibres summary report – a summary of evidence and gaps in evidence on microfibres resulting from the clothing life cycle. 

Challenges still exist with meeting targets to reduce waste in the clothing industry
It is clear that more needs to be done to address the pressing environmental issues  clothing consumption in the UK. SCAP has demonstrated that concerted action can lead to impressive changes and reductions in overall impact, but that challenges remain in terms of engaging citizens with re-use and recycling behaviour, and addressing barriers across the whole life cycle of clothing.

Want to hear more news about sustainable textiles and SCAP?... sign up to receive the sustainable textiles newsletter.

Farewell from ECAP

Those involved in ECAP are proud of its value, and partners and advisors will continue to reference the project’s resources at textiles events and will inform the development of future projects. It is expected that the political and social landscape will also drive recognition of its importance. ECAP was a project to start the collective movement for driving circular fashion and the ground is now ripe for ECAP’s resources to flourish. As the project nears completion, we will leave you with some thoughts from a few of ECAP's Advisors: 

“ECAP is a really important programme in helping to bring more sustainable practices into how we design, make, use and re-use clothing. It is one of the very few programmes that focus on the entire clothing supply chain, rather than just a specific part of that chain. The summary report brings together a wealth of important resources in one place and I’m particularly impressed with the fibre-2-fibre guidance; which will help many businesses incorporate more recycled content into their clothes, more easily. I can see these resources being very helpful to so many people, and would urge anyone working in fashion to consult this important programme of work. I also see the design for longevity platform as a key reference for all of us interested in understanding how we can collaborate towards making clothes last longer and get worn more often.”
Rebecca Earley, Professor of Sustainable Fashion Textile Design and Co-Director, Centre for Circular Design (CCD)

“ECAP is one of a few ground-breaking and innovative projects on textiles, clothing and the environment which have resulted in textiles being a priority sector for the European Commission and its next circular economy action plan.”
Lars Fogh Mortensen, Consumption, Products and Plastics Expert, European Environment Agency

“The ECAP work has been extremely informative and instrumental to explore new routes to enable circularity in the textile value chains, especially concerning the role of consumers and green public procurers. These inputs also inspired contents of the EURATEX strategy Prospering in the Circular Economy unveiled in December 2019. We look forward to keep working with ECAP partners and find solutions to apply circularity in textiles at large scale.”
Mauro Scalia, EURATEX Director Sustainable Businesses, The European Apparel and Textile Confederation

“ECAP has developed a solid and robust framework which will enable stakeholders from the European Clothing Supply chain to address the serious environmental impacts that the industry produces. The findings from ECAP will enable businesses to instigate appropriate measures which are necessary to help improve sustainability across the supply chain from manufacturing and production of clothing through to re-use and recycling.”
Alan Wheeler, General Delegate of the Textiles Division at the Bureau of International Recycling and Director of the Textile Recycling Association

“This has been a huge amount of work by many partners, in many countries. Through ECAP, retailers and brands have reduced the footprint of garments they sell; workwear and brands have piloted cutting edge fibre-2-fibre schemes increasing recycled content in clothing, and household textile collections have increased. I am very proud of what everyone has achieved, and how these resources will help drive sustainable fashion in the future.
Clothing ranks sixth in household spending, but its environmental cost is far greater. The clothing industry has a huge environmental footprint across its supply chain, and at end of life. Its reach is global, and its impacts profound. We too, as consumers, directly contribute to the stress put on the planet by how we dress. ECAP’s challenge has been to improve production, supply, use and disposal of our clothes in ways businesses and people will adopt.”

Peter Maddox, Director WRAP

Wishing you a happy and sustainable Christmas!

Contacting ECAP 

The ECAP project completes on 31st December 2019, however remember you can still access valuable information and resources:
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