Industry Strategic Science and Technology Plans (ISPs) Platform

Transforming towards a sustainable and circular textile value chain

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) identified three interconnected priorities to deliver system change, namely (1) shifting consumption patterns, (2) improved practices, and (3) infrastructure investment.

Image Source: UNEP

The textile industry contributes significantly to industrialization, trade, development, and social value. It connects producers, merchants, and consumers worldwide, quickly creating regional and global value chains. Three environmental challenges of our time, particularly climate change, pollution, and biodiversity loss, can all be resolved by transforming the textile value chain into a sustainable and circular one. Every actor in the global value chain of textiles, from producing raw materials to disposing of trash at the end of its useful life, may contribute to sustainable solutions.

UNEP used the value chain method to promote sustainability and circularity in the textile sector. This method provides practical insights into how resource management ties to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, thus integrating natural resource use and environmental impacts into the socio-economic realities of production and consumption. Additionally, a value chain approach considers physical operations and how products and services are designed, developed, promoted, and delivered to consumers.

The three interconnected priorities must be addressed as part of a coordinated approach for all value chain actors. Nine building blocks were identified to deliver the three priorities. Every building block considers the main factors influencing the socio-economic and environmental impacts throughout the value chain, supports the achievement of the existing industry goals and requires collaboration from various stakeholders.

References: United Nations Environment Programme (2023, May 30). Sustainability and Circularity in the Textile Value Chain – A Global Roadmap. Retrieved February 22, 2024 from

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