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Article: Towards a sustainable and circular economy

Verso un'economia sostenibile e circolare

Towards a sustainable and circular economy

At CasaGIN we believe that the current way of living and consuming in the world is no longer sustainable. We find ourselves living on a planet increasingly threatened by pollution, excessive exploitation of natural resources and climate change. While conscious and responsible consumption by people, states or industries can delay resource depletion, new ways to produce, use and dispose of products, such as textiles, need to be found and agreed upon. This is why the European textile and clothing industry body Euratex has made public the action plan for a circular economy with the aim of guaranteeing the sustainable use of resources and therefore addressing environmental, social challenges and more urgent economic issues which now concern the entire world population.

The detailed document is the result of extensive bottom-up consultation with Euratex members, national and industry associations and over 100 European fashion companies. Twelve key points are listed that can provide substantial contributions to the European Commission's objectives towards a circular economy plan starting in 2020.


Here are the 12 key points:

1. Develop closer collaborations between EU authorities, NGOs, industries, farmers, retailers, waste managers and machine manufacturers with the aim of using each other's expertise and developing a circular economy action plan .

2. Stimulate demand for recycled materials in order to lower their cost, which is currently still too high compared to that of virgin materials. So as to activate, among other things, investments and partnerships.

3. The design of a circular product must be rewarded / encouraged / recommended .

4. Consumers must choose what is best for them and the environment . There is a need for educated and responsible consumers who buy with conscience.

5. Develop life cycle assessments of products/waste so as to understand how to reuse them whether by recycling them or using them for the development of renewable energy sources or more.

6. The lack of standardization for recycled materials and their quality, as well as the lack of waste management criteria is a bottleneck. There is a need for agreed European/global standards.

7. Collecting and managing discarded fabrics from end users and factories is complex and time-consuming. Process improvement is necessary through organizational changes (partnerships), logistical optimizations and new technologies .

8. Government procurement and supply chains can present significant opportunities. National, regional and local contractors can play a key role in incentivizing a transition to circularity with their choices, signaling to markets and rewarding efforts.

9. Products made from recycled materials must meet the same requirements as products made from virgin materials.

10. In all EU countries it is necessary to review national/local legislation on the management of “waste” to understand which obstacles to circularity need to be removed and how to harmonize the legislation.

11. Trigger public and private funding to create greater infrastructure, develop research and innovation and generate places for the storage of recycled materials.

12. Encourage and enable new services promoted by the textile industry towards consumers.

A change towards a society that is more respectful of the ecosystem and more efficient from the point of view of the use of raw materials certainly passes through all of this . Resource-intensive consumption and production patterns, climate change, biodiversity and pollution are global challenges and require coordinated efforts. The European Union has already pioneered revolutionary policies in the plastic value chain. This demonstrated how well-coordinated actions between business actors, societies and Member States can implement policy changes in less than 1 year. At CasaGIN we believe that all this is possible and we are already moving to make our production cycle more circular and sustainable. This is why we have selected recycled materials such as PET and Econyl to produce our more technical garments such as trekking socks and swimsuits . Thanks to their properties, these materials allow us to save large amounts of energy because they are completely reusable. In the case of PET, it is the plastic bottles that are recycled. As regards Econyl, our supplier companies recover waste such as fishing nets from the oceans and from aquaculture, fabric waste from mills and carpets destined for landfill. In both cases, the waste materials are taken to recycling centers where, after a long process, they are transformed into flakes and yarns of such high quality that they can be reused with characteristics such as resistance, breathability, durability, sustainability and low environmental impact.

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