Zero Waste Scotland and the Scottish Government have launched a new £2m fund to help reduce the environmental burden of textiles.
Announced on 24 June, the Circular Textiles Fund will go directly to businesses across the textiles industry in Scotland, from fashion to upholstery, according to the Scottish Government-funded advisory group.
Textiles have an extremely high environmental impact – with Zero Waste Scotland’s latest Carbon Metric report showing that, while they make up just four per cent of waste by weight, they account for nearly a third (32 per cent) of the carbon impact of Scotland’s household waste.
The Circular Textiles Fund will support “innovative projects that have what it takes to be part of Scotland’s circular economy, in which resources are valued and made to last”. Applications to the fund can be from individual businesses or represent a collaboration between businesses to achieve the objectives below.
Potential business models include those that:
- reduce demand for new textiles, such as clothing and textile rental, reuse, and repair services;
- employ sustainable manufacturing processes;
- reduce in-life environmental impacts, such as mitigating the pollution from washing textiles and making them easier to reuse and repair; and
- maximise the amount of textile waste that is captured and recycled.
Iain Gulland, Chief Executive of Zero Waste Scotland, said:
“As a nation, we need to rethink the way we make, buy, and use products and take action to consume more responsibly. Businesses have a key role to play in facilitating that shift, helping customers make more sustainable purchasing decisions while also contributing to a greener economy.
“With textiles responsible for such a significant chunk of the carbon footprint of Scotland’s household waste it’s vital that we move away from a throwaway approach to products and materials and make things last instead. The Circular Textiles Fund is a fantastic opportunity for businesses to be part of the solution.”
This announcement comes shortly after the Scottish Government launched two public consultations on proposals for a Circular Economy Bill and Route Map to 2025. The consultations form part of strategic plans to deliver Scotland’s zero waste and circular economy ambitions.
Lorna Slater, Circular Economy Minister, said:
“Every material that is wasted comes at a cost to our planet, but it’s clear that textiles are having a disproportionate environmental impact.
“From fashion to furniture, there are huge opportunities for businesses with creative ideas to help address that problem. That’s why we are creating the £2million Circular Textiles Fund, which will help businesses in Scotland turn their proposals into reality.
“Alongside our Circular Economy Bill, this will help grow the number of sustainable businesses in Scotland and help prevent textiles from ending up in landfill or incineration.”
Rebekah Chapman, Production Technician at Kalopsia Collective said:
“The circular economy is a big deal for Kalopsia and we have worked hard to minimise every aspect of our environmental impact. For us it’s a passion, and it’s one we know is shared by many working in the Scottish textiles sector.
“We’re delighted to help launch the Circular Textiles Fund and look forward to seeing more businesses doing things differently for the future of people and planet.”
Businesses that are interested in applying for the fund must fill out an Expression of Interest form, which can be downloaded from the Zero Waste Scotland website and submitted it to firstname.lastname@example.org by 29 July 2022.
Expressions of Interest will be assessed against the criteria and applicants will be notified if they have been invited to stage two by 28 August 2022.
For more information on the details of the fund and how to apply visit circulartextilesfund.scot.