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UK Sustainable Textiles Action Plan secures 100 signatories in 10 months as eBay, River Island and Oliver Bonas join agreement

UK Sustainable Textiles Action Plan secures 100 signatories in 10 months as eBay, River Island and Oliver Bonas join agreement

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In just 10 months, the UK’s Sustainable Textiles Action Plan has secured commitment on environmental targets from retailers and brands making up almost two thirds of clothing placed on the UK market.

Leading global environmental NGO WRAP launched Textiles 2030: UK Sustainable Textiles Action Plan with 63 signatories on April 26th 2021. The most ambitious ten-year sustainability programme for clothing and textiles in the world now has 100 businesses signed up.

Latest signatories eBay, River Island and Oliver Bonas represent three key parts of industry – home textiles, circular economy innovators and brands pledging to reduce carbon and water footprints and accelerate circularity in the UK.

The updated Textiles 2030 Footprint tool now measures the environmental impact of home textiles products. 

Textiles 2030 brands and retailers now represent over 62% of all clothing products placed on the UK market. It’s an action-oriented initiative based on tackling climate change through circularity, so as more of the sector gets involved, faster progress can be made and with greater impact.

Major names eBay, River Island and Oliver Bonas are the latest businesses to pledge their commitment to this ground-breaking voluntary agreement, highlighting the diversity of the Signatories that are working together. The new additions will encourage collaboration between traditional retailers and businesses operating in the re-use space to scale up circularity efforts.

Marcus Gover, CEO of WRAP, said: “WRAP wants to create a world in which climate change is no longer a problem. But, with the global fashion industry being responsible for creating more emissions than all international flights and maritime shipping combined, we won’t achieve this if we don’t tackle the way clothes are produced, used and disposed of. Textiles 2030 is a dynamic and fast-paced approach to the problem with the long-term goal of radically changing how we use textiles to a more sustainable model – for all textiles in the home. We are delighted that after less than a year we have 100 signatories from across the textiles sector committed to this goal.”

Chris Gale, Head of Social Impact, eBay, said: “eBay’s commitment to partnering with WRAP on its Textiles 2030 initiative is a natural step in our journey to becoming a more sustainable marketplace. We’ve been extending the life cycle of products for 25 years and are more committed than ever to empowering our users to make more sustainable product choices and supporting our 300,000 business sellers to make long-lasting, impactful changes.”

Jose Arguedas – Head of Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability, River Island, said: “River Island is proud to join Textiles 2030, the UK’s ambitious new 10-year agreement to slash carbon emissions for the fashion industry. There is much to do, but by working together and part of wider efforts across River Island’s strategy we know we will get there faster. We’re incorporating circularity throughout our business, including the launch of our Take Back scheme to help customers repurpose old clothes. Additionally, a Partner Signatory, River Island will pursue a joint circularity leadership agenda, following the Textiles 2030 roadmap and collaborating with others to transform the sector.”

Olly Tress, Founder & Managing Director, Oliver Bonas, commented: “Oliver Bonas are proud to have joined WRAP’s Textiles 2030 Voluntary Agreement as a Partner signatory. As a clothing and homeware brand, we are pleased to incorporate Textiles 2030 into our sustainability journey.  By joining we will be able to measure the impact of our products, take meaningful action to reduce our carbon footprint and collaborate with our industry peers to achieve our targets effectively and consistently.  By all working together, we can share, learn, and collectively move towards achieving positive solutions within our sector more efficiently.”

WRAP and Textiles 2030 will bring these different businesses together to collaborate on key science-based targets. By 2030, signatories aim to reduce the carbon footprint of new products placed on the market by 50%, and the water footprint by 30%.

Textiles 2030 is already making an impact in the textiles field. Progress of these individual businesses is closely tracked by WRAP through annually submitted data as well as actions taken against each stage of the product lifecycle. The Textiles 2030 Roadmap outlines scenarios, activities and milestones that demonstrate how the absolute targets can be achieved and shows what signatories must do to deliver the targets, with key outcomes by the end of 2022, 2025 and 2030.

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These actions will transform the UK’s make-use-dispose fashion culture into one where products are made sustainably, used longer and then re-used or recycled. The Target-Measure-Act approach will be used so that textiles businesses set tough targets, measure impact and track progress on both an individual business basis, and towards national targets and public reporting.

October 2021 saw WRAP run the first Textiles Action Week which coincided with the publication of Textiles 2030: Six months progress report. In November 2021, the voluntary agreement was named the Best Environmental or Sustainable Programme by Corporate Engagement Awards 2021

New guidance for the sector relating to designing for circularity, new business models and citizen insights will be shared with Signatories over the coming months.

Crucially, the latest updated version of the Textiles 2030 Footprint Tool, which allows businesses to calculate the greenhouse gas emissions and water footprint associated with their textiles product ranges, was launched in March 2022. This tool improves the data available to inform decision-making and covers the whole lifecycle of those products, from the production of raw materials, through various manufacturing processes, wear and washing by consumers while the products are in use, and final waste disposal.

Textiles 2030’s international ambitions will be further realised later this year as the first in a planned Global Network of agreements is be launched in Denmark.

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