EcoProfabrics, a circular economy textile business has been successfully launched proving that a sustainable breakthrough in the B2B market is possible. The challenge was to develop within a three-year period a full-scale circular economy business case for work wear. This required developing the technology, the market, management tools and the circular model to achieve the goal. The project was supported by the European Union’s Eco-Innovation Initiative.
Specialist partners came together to bring Returnity® work wear to the market. Garments are made from certified ‘cradle-to-cradle’ fabric and at the end of their useful life are recycled into clean fibres and converted into new fabrics. EcoProFabrics has its sights set on a potential multi-million Euro turnover at significantly lower cost to the environment than traditional textile garments.
We managed the project and worked closely with the founder to provide coaching and workshops for the partners. Innovations included the fabric, development of the take-back chain and the Circular Content Management System. This records and processes data on the performance of the entire chain, including material use and environmental aspects. It also incorporates a new way of making life cycle assessments which helps formulate sound circular economy KPIs. This is one of the few Eco Innovation projects that succeeded in transferring a business idea into a full scale circular economy. The fashion and textiles industry accounts for approximately 10% of the total global carbon impact and is a major consumer of water, land, chemicals and other resources. EcoProFabrics shows it is possible to significantly reduce the environmental impact of the sector with garments that are manufactured and delivered in line with circular economy principles.