Roadmap on Full Circularity in Textile by 2050 in The Works

Jakarta. Industry players, fashion designers, academics, and other stakeholders on Monday assembled in Jakarta to design a roadmap to achieve a 100-percent circularity in textiles by 2050. 

This fully-circular-textiles-by-2050 becomes the ultimate goal of World Circular Textile Day (WCTD), which takes place on October 8 every year. The WCTD in partnership with the Rantai Tekstil Lestari (RTL) —an association that aims to promote sustainability in the textile and fashion value chains— on Monday gathered different stakeholders in a full-day workshop to give input on this roadmap.

The textile industry’s path to sustainability is facing a number of challenges, ranging from the lack of infrastructure to the consumers’ behavior, according to RTL chairman Basrie Kamba.

“If we speak of circularity, it requires a substantial investment. It has a small margin. Consumers are favoring affordable and trendy clothes,” Basrie said when kicking off the workshop.

“And not to mention the lack of infrastructure and high humidity. I do hope we, as a country, can also have a roadmap on circular textiles. […] It should tell us where we are heading and whose door we should knock to seek help,” Basrie, who is also the president director of sustainable viscose rayon producer Asia Pacific Rayon (APR), said.

Likewise, WCTD co-founder Gwen Cunningham said today’s textile industry —just like other sectors— is still adopting the linear economy model. Only one percent of textile waste is recycled into new garments. In Europe, clothes on average are only worn seven or eight times before being discarded. 

“It is going to be a long journey to achieve full circularity by 2050. Some progress is not going to happen overnight, so every step is necessary,” Gwen said.

Amalia Adininggar Widyasanti, the deputy for economic affairs at the National Development Planning Agency (Bappenas), also told the WCTD workshop that “sustainable fashion can start step by step. We cannot change everything in one go. For instance, we can start with the production process, then acquire new technology to reduce waste.” 

Indonesian Textile Association (API) chairman Jemmy Kartiwa said clear regulations were pivotal to pave the way for fully circular textiles by 2050.

“We can [achieve that goal], but we need clear regulations,” Jemmy said.

“And if you want to recycle textile from textile, you also have to educate the people such as by having a buyback program. So if someone brings their old clothes, they would get a 20-percent discount,” Jemmy added.

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