In the session 'Winning the Battle for Waste Resources,' he highlighted critical issues within the European textile industry and the urgent need for circular fashion initiatives.
Europe generates a staggering 7.5 million tons of post-consumer textile waste annually, with less than 30% being separately collected, leaving a substantial gap in waste management. Lutz Walter stressed that while separate collection of textile waste will become mandatory EU-wide in 2025, building the necessary infrastructure and changing consumer behaviour will be a lengthy process.
He also emphasized the importance of securing a sufficient supply of feedstock for industrial-scale fibre-to-fibre recycling, which would require professional collection systems and automated sorting technologies. Support through Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) fees and public funding is crucial for this.
Lutz Walter made it clear that there is no alternative to taking action: fibre-to-fibre recycling is an indispensable tool alongside other sustainable strategies like reduction, use intensification, and biobased fibre innovation. These measures collectively serve to defossilise the textile material supply chain and reduce the carbon footprint of textile production and consumption.
Thanks to the organisers of the SDA Bocconi Monitor for Circular Fashion event, in particular Francesca Romana Rinaldi, Liuba Napoli, and their team for their efforts in creating a top-notch platform for discussions on the future of circular fashion.