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Waste Not
30+ Fashion Brands, Manufacturers Collaborating to Recycle Textile Waste in Bangladesh

The Global Fashion Agenda's Circular Fashion Partnership (CFP) aims to achieve a long-term, scalable transition to a circular fashion system; beginning in the heart of fast-fashion production, Bangladesh.

The Partnership brings together global apparel brands, manufacturers, recyclers and retailers including Bershka, BESTSELLER, C&AGina TricotGrey State, H&M GroupKmart Australia, Lenzing AGMarks & SpencerOVS, Pull & Bear, Peak Performance , re:newcell and Target Australia; along with Reverse Resources — a tracking and trading platform for textile waste, The Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), and P4G — a nonprofit, global network seeking breakthrough solutions for sustainable economic growth.

The Circular Fashion Partnership is designed to facilitate circular commercial collaborations between major fashion brands, textile and garment manufacturers, and recyclers to develop and implement new systems to capture and direct post-production fashion waste back into the production of new fashion products. It also seeks to find solutions for the COVID-19 related pile-up of deadstock, and to engage regulators and investors around the current barriers and economic opportunities in the country.

The initiative is focusing on Bangladesh — as it arguably possesses the most in-demand and recyclable waste of any garment producing country, but the majority of its waste is currently being exported and/or downcycled. Therefore, there is a substantial opportunity to make it a leader in circularity by scaling the recycling capacity in the country and generating more value from these waste streams and building industry resilience for the future.

Miran Ali, Director at BGMEA, says:

“Circular economy is not merely just a concept; it is the future! Fashion is historically following the linear model of business ‘take-make-dispose,’ but now we stand at such a critical juncture where we cannot afford to continue this linear model. Moreover, demand for circular apparel is increasing and brands are coming with pledges towards it; so, as manufacturers, we have to embrace it and align ourselves with the global trend. Bangladeshi factories typically produce larger volumes of the same item, meaning that waste is more standardized; therefore, Bangladesh can be a global leader in the area of circular economy. We believe CFP is a good platform to start the journey.”

The business model and project learnings from the CFP’s first year will be presented at the end of 2021 in a Circularity Playbook for Bangladesh, which will be used as a guide to replicate the partnership in other countries, such as Vietnam and Indonesia.

“The Circular Fashion Partnership is an excellent example of how P4G’s dynamic network in Bangladesh and action-oriented, global ecosystem can work together to deliver transformative impact in an industry that is critical to Bangladesh’s economic recovery,” says Leila Yim Surratt, Director of Strategy and Engagement at P4G. “We look forward to unlocking the investment potential of this partnership and providing opportunities to share Bangladesh’s leadership with other P4G country partners like Vietnam and Indonesia.”

Read more about the Circular Fashion Partnership and see the complete list of participating companies here. All global recycling solutions, and brands and manufacturers working in Bangladesh are invited to joinclick here to learn more about participation.