Waste, Recycling and Textile Sustainability...
How can the outdoor industry do its part?
Written by guest blogger Benjamin Marias
The European Outdoor Group (EOG) http://www.europeanoutdoorgroup.com/ is an association set up to represent the common interests of the European outdoor industry. Part of the EOG’s mission is to provide a common position on sustainability topics for the outdoor industry, which it does via the Sustainability Working Group (SWG) and initiative started in 2008. Thus, the EOG and the SWG work to ensure that the industry is up-to-date on relevant environmental and health and safety issues. Product End-of-Life (EoL) is one of the hot topics. A specific task group (open to all brands, retailers, recyclers, etc. we encourage everyone to actively participate) was created three years ago in order to:
- Understand better the process of what happens next
- Provide and promote cooperative EoL-solutions for the European outdoor industry
- Educate industry and consumers
Thus, four projects have been defined:
1. Better understand the bottlenecks: To identify where the bottlenecks are within the garment recycling industry, as well as the core questions to ask the key players: Retail, Charities, Clothing Recyclers/Collection and Sorting, Yarn Recyclers/Spinning Mills, Brands, and Consumers.
2. Educate and provide information to the consumer: A single page document that can be used by brands/retailers in their consumer communications: The objective is to summarize textile recycling options that are available to the consumer in order to divert as much postconsumer textile waste from landfill as possible (a beginner’s guide to…what might typically happen etc.).
3. Provide information to the industry (brands): A single page document for the industry to use describing the status of EoL, giving statistics, recycling routes and how to contribute. The objective here is to give a clear overview of what options are out there, in Europe and within each European country.
4. Develop EoL indicators though the Index http://www.apparelcoalition.org/. In collaboration with the Outdoor Industry Association and the Sustainable Apparel Coalition our goal is to help companies to establish an EoL program with measurable targets as well as specific communication to the consumer.
All the results of this work will be presented at the next OutDoor Show in Friedrichshafen (July 12-15, Germany). Everybody is welcome to join the discussion and to contribute!
Just a quick reminder, EOG’s role is limited to providing guidance, collective negotiation and the promotion of key issues, as decisions regarding sensitive matters such as manufacturing, positioning or competitiveness, can only be made by companies themselves.
Chair of the SWG EoL Task Group
Coordinator of the Outdoor Sports Valley Sustainability Committee
Co-managing director of AZIMUT INNOVATION
Picture: Benjamin Marias