Published 2018-01-04

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Swedish fashion industry goes circular

The Swedish textile and fashion industries are mustering their strength for greater sustainability. A proposal for a broad initiative with participants from both industry and research has been presented to the Government. Mistra Future Fashion is leading the planning work.

Increased recovery of textile fibres, design that favours recycling and new consumption patterns are important components of a more sustainable course for the fashion industry. They are also important points in the proposal Det hållbara svenska modeundret (‘the sustainable Swedish fashion phenomenon’) that is currently taking shape.

This national initiative is part of the Government’s collaborative programme for a circular and biobased economy. In early summer, the fashion industry’s representatives were invited to Rosenbad, the Government Office in central Stockholm that houses the Office of the Prime Minister, for a round-table meeting. To move the work forward, a programme group including H&M, Filippa K, Swerea IVF, Smart Textiles and the Swedish Fashion Council was formed. The group’s work is coordinated by Mistra Future Fashion and Research Institutes of Sweden (RISE).

‘The Swedish textile and fashion industry is mobilising to become more circular. The vision is to become world-leading for sustainability by 2030,’ says Sigrid Barnekow at Mistra Future Fashion.

In the months ahead, the programme group will continue to unite the industry behind a common strategy. The proposal is currently being examined at the Ministry of Enterprise and Innovation and the Ministry of the Environment and Energy.

‘The initiative has a lot to do with mobilising and extending existing initiatives in the industry. It’s absolutely crucial that we get a holistic view of initiatives and research in the field and thus a more effective collaboration among all the stakeholders: textile manufacturers, fashion companies, recycling firms, researchers and government agencies.’

Henrik Lundström