Fashion and textile waste taskforce set up in Greater Manchester


A new taskforce dedicated to reducing the environmental impacts of fashion and textile waste in the North West has been formed by Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU) and Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA).

The GM Sustainable Textiles and Fashion Group aims to bring together experts, local authorities and regional and national fashion and textile companies to come up with solutions to reduce some of these impacts.

MMU says the Group will do this by evaluating recycling and sorting practices, developing new business markets for recycled textiles and investigating where technology and innovation can deliver more environmentally and commercially effective processes.

The establishment of the stakeholder group forms part of a wider University project, which sees a consortium of universities and regional authorities across six European countries work together to pool existing research, knowledge and current practices.

The first undertaking for the group will be to form an understanding of the scale and nature of the textile waste problem in Greater Manchester and beyond. To do this the group have been running workshops to scope out a feasibility study that is designed to gather data on where textile waste comes from and ends up.

The study aims to increase understanding of how emerging sorting and reprocessing technologies might help to create valuable materials from nonreusable textiles.

We have taken a huge step forward in being able to reduce the environmental footprint of fashion and textile consumption.

The group hopes to make Greater Manchester a “leading regional example” of how to develop a sustainable textile economy that can be rolled out to other cities and regions nationally and internationally.

In the next 12 months, MMU says the taskforce will start rolling out pilot projects and begin planning to expand its network across the region.

Professor Paul Hooper, Interim Director of the Ecology and Environment Research Centre at MMU, commented: “With the establishment of this new group, we have taken a huge step forward in being able to reduce the environmental footprint of fashion and textile consumption.

“Firstly, here in the North West, but eventually using the outcomes of this project to make a difference further afield.

“It’s a huge accomplishment to have been able to establish a comprehensive sector stakeholder group who have the experience and expertise to be able to identify and develop solutions to the waste challenges created by this industry.

“The challenge is now to secure both the support and funding necessary to drive forward the social and technological innovation required to deliver these changes.”


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