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Denmark’s Ministry of Environment wants companies to embrace circularity

By Danielle Wightman-Stone


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Image: Ganni

The Ministry of Environment in Denmark has announced a sectoral agreement within the fashion and textile industry to require companies to recycle and use more recycled materials by 2030, as it looks to make the Danish textile industry more circular.

Ten Danish clothing and textile companies, including Ganni, Bestseller, and Aiayu, and three organisations have pledged to work together to significantly reduce the industry's footprint on climate through circular commitments.

The move is in response to the consumption of clothing and textiles increasing in Europe, with reports estimating that an average European buys 15 kilograms of clothing and textiles per year. With this figure increasing, the Ministry of Environment is asking the participating companies to ensure that its textiles and clothes are designed for longevity and contain at least 40 percent recycled material by 2030.

Denmark’s Minister of the Environment, Lea Wermelin, said in a statement: "Our consumption is far too high, and it wears down the planet's scarce resources. The production of clothes and textiles is one of the most environmentally damaging industries in the world. We have to get away from the use-and-throw-away culture, like the fashion industry today is characterised by.

“It resonates in the industry and internationally when Danish textile companies - large and small - undertake to reduce their climate and environmental footprint. Denmark must be among the leaders in the green transformation of the fashion and textile industry.”

Maria Glæsel, director of fashion company Aiayu, has been elected as the person in charge of the sector collaboration.

Commenting on her appointment and the initiative, Glæsel added: "It is important that we bring the industry together in a common direction, and that is why I am proud to be appointed as the front person. My wish is that we can bring industry players together for common goals and exchange experiences that lead to action.

“Only together can we meet the major challenges facing the industry. It is important for the industry that the minister supports it, because the transition will also require structural changes. I am happy to be at the front of a sectoral collaboration that can help us with a joint circular transition.” The Minister of the Environment is the initiator of the sectoral cooperation, and the Lifestyle & Design Cluster will function as a secretariat to prepare an action plan, data collection and servicing of the steering group.

Participating brands and organisations that have signed up include: Aiayu, Bestseller, DK-Company, Salling Group, Ganni, JYSK, Dansk Wilton, Mammut Hoffmann, Trendsales, Green Cotton, Dansk Mode & Textil, Wear/Dansk Erhverv, Lifestyle & Design Cluster, and Miljøstyrelsen.

It is hoped that the sector collaboration will expand to include Norway, Sweden and Finland from 2023.

Copenhagen Fashion Week
Ministry of Environment