CIWM & ECAP workshop to discuss future of UK textile collections

13 December 2018

This article was first written on 1 November 2018

A CIWM and ECAP workshop held in December will discuss the way forward for the collection of used textiles in the UK.

The European Commission’s Circular Economy Package requires local authorities to collect textiles by 2025. This will potentially leave textile merchants and charity shops with a drop in stock.

The workshop will look to discuss these issues as well as facilitate the opportunity for attendees to add their thoughts to the discussion.

Legislation changes to the registration of exemptions from permitting may mean that some textile storage facilities will also require an environmental permit at some point in the future, which means an interest in “waste” from the textiles sector may increase.

The workshop will also look at the ECAP project report, “Used textile collection in European Cities” , which looks at the way clothing is collected in Europe and looks at “collaboration between actors”. 

“I believe this is just the start of something quite big,” said CIWM’s Senior Technical Advisor Kim Mynard, “there are many initiatives that the UK hasn’t considered and as is not on the radar of waste management companies.

UPDATED 13 December 2018: 

This workshop was well attended by organisations involved in the collection, reuse and recycling of used textiles.  Organisations that attended represented England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales and included: 

 Advance London  BIU Group Blythswood Care   British Heart Foundation
 Cambs and Peterborough Waste Partnership  Cannock Chase Council  Charity Retail Association  CIWM
 Circular Economy Wardrobe  Greater Cambridgeshire Waste Collection Authority  Impact Fashion  Irish Charity Shops Association
 JMP Wilcox  John Cotton Nonwoven  Leeds University  LARAC
 LWARB  Newport Paper  Oakdene Hollins  Plan Miljo
 Primark  Resource Efficiency Wales  Resource Futures  Rijkswaterstaat
 Salvation Army  Savanna Rags International Limited  South Staffordshire Council  Sue Ryder
 Sue Ryder  Suez  Swansea Council  Textile Recycling Association
 Ward Textile Recycling  WRAP  Worcestershire County Council  


The agenda for the day included speakers from a variety of organisations to help set the scene with the current arrangements for collection of used textiles in European Cities from the study undertaken by the ECAP Project and the UK.  There were presentations to look at the opportunities and challenges for the future.

Presentations are now available for all the speakers:
Welcome to the workshop and introductions – Kim Mynard CIWM
Introduction to the ECAP project – Emile Bruls Rijkswaterstaat
ECAP study in 7 European Cities – David Watson Plan Miljø

Love not Landfill – Hannah Carter LWARB
Opportunities for technology in used textile collection – Chidubem Nwabufo Impact Fashion
Charity Collections – David Roman British Heart Foundation
The Textile Recycling Process – Dr Nick Edwards John Cotton Nonwoven Division
Textile Recycling Opportunities and Challenges – Dr Mark Sumner Sustainability; Retail and Fashion, School of Design, University of Leeds
Future of Textile Collections – Hilary Garlick LARAC
Update on work being done on textile recycling and reuse – Sinead Murphy WRAP

In the afternoon of the workshop, attendees had a brain storming session to put together a statement to send to Defra with ideas to help make textiles more sustainable for the future this included discussions on ‘fast fashion’, the manufacture of clothing and other textiles as well as the collection methods for onwards repair, reuse and recycling.  This document will be available shortly.


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