EU’s Circular Economy Package rightly aims to make products and textiles more sustainable

Advancing towards greater sustainability of the textiles ecosystem requires deep changes in the currently prevailing linear way in which textile products are designed, produced, used and discarded. According to Satumaija Lévon (Finnish Textile & Fashion) and Karoliina Rasi (Finnish Industries EK), recyclability of textiles should become a norm.

With a package of European Green Deal proposals published recently, the European Commission presents tools to move to a truly circular economy in the EU respecting its sustainability and climate objectives. Commission is proposing new rules making goods more friendly to the environment, circular, and sustainable throughout their whole lifecycle on the EU market.

One of the proposals is EU’s New Textile Strategy that defines a list of actions aiming to make the sector’s growth sustainable, climate-neutral, energy- and resource efficient and respectful of nature. All built around a clean and circular economy.

The Strategy wants to tackle challenges such as reversing the overproduction and over consumption of textiles. Advancing towards greater sustainability of the textiles ecosystem requires deep changes in the currently prevailing linear way in which textile products are designed, produced, used and discarded. Paying attention to recyclability, quality and durability of textiles should become a norm.

The textile strategy offers many opportunities for Finnish companies, which have profound expertise in the circular economy and sustainable operations. There are several interesting pilot projects and industrial production investment projects going on around the new and ecological textile fibers as well as recycled textile fibers in Finland.

Finnish textile sector welcomes EU Strategy for Sustainable and Circular Textiles. It considers it important for the EU to address structural barriers in the sector and create harmonised solutions for textile recycling for example. It is equally important that the textile strategy encourages companies to adopt circular economy business models and supports research, innovation, and investments to the sector.

Finnish textile sector has taken a head start on the listed actions as the separate collection of the end-of-life textiles will start in Finland 2023. Scandinavia’s biggest textile recycling plant has recently opened in Finland. Large amounts of end -of- life textiles will be treated here, and it is crucial that fluent transport of the textile waste within the internal market is ensured as we cannot afford losing valuable raw materials.

Finland is becoming one of the hubs of the EU’s circular economy. However, textiles circular economy also includes new innovations in the textile sector, such as new textile fibers being developed from textile waste but also new bio-based fibers as well as new business models such as textile rental. All these new innovations and business models are transforming the global textile industry towards a more sustainable industry and offering more systemic solutions in line with EU’s New Textile Strategy.

For more information, please contact:
Satumaija Lévon, Chief Advisor, Sustainability & Circular Economy, Finnish Textile & Fashion
GSM. +358 40 752 8537 satumaija.levon@stjm.fi

Karoliina Rasi, Senior Adviser, Circular Economy, Confederation of Finnish Industries
GSM. +32 476 349 263 karoliina.rasi@ek.fi

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