The Circular Economy Textiles and Apparel Grant Fund offers textile designers up to £5000 each, with successful applicants also receiving mentoring from an industry expert. Zero Waste Scotland is specifically looking for products that ‘close the loop’, with a range of applications saught to come forward and create ‘a truly circular economy product’.

The organisation’s chief executive Iain Gulland said: “We have a really diverse and engaged mix of textile producers and clothing designers here in Scotland, and the funding we have announced today will enable the industry to start testing out ways to make waste a thing of the past in textiles, and create a circular textile economy that sees fabric flow in a cycle of re-use and eliminate waste to landfill.”

Clothing accounts for more than a million tonnes of waste materials, contributing around 5% of the carbon footprint and 6-8% of the water footprint of goods and services in the UK. This fund will allow Scottish designers to reduce textile waste by designing clothes which are able to be disassembled and repurposed, and using textiles made from recycled materials.

Positive approach

The fund, which opens for applications in December, was announced by sustainable fashion designer Orsola de Castro in her keynote speech at a sustainable fashion symposium hosted by Zero Waste Scotland last week.

De Castro runs the eco-fashion label From Somewhere and co-ordinates the sustainable fashion area Estethica at London Fashion Week. She has designed collections for Topshop using reclaimed fabrics and an Oscar dress for Livia Firth as part of the ‘Green Carpet Challenge’ initiative, designed to bring sustainable fashion to the red carpet.

De Castro said: “I am delighted to take part in this exciting initiative with Zero Waste Scotland. The industry needs to take a positive approach to a changing world and sustainability will inevitably penetrate all aspects of the fashion and textile design and production.

“We need to look at waste as a resource, and inspire young designers to its immense creative potential and help the industry to understand its viability, scalability and role in the future.”

Last month, edie reported on a partnership between French fashion conglomerate Kering and the London College of Fashion (LCF) to support sustainable practices and innovation throughout the fashion industry.

Also in October, Levi Strauss, H&M and Asos, were among 25 major fashion brands representing more than £45bn in global sales to have committed to an industry campaign to eliminate deforestation from supply chains to make fashion more sustainable.

Lois Vallely

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