- Today, Saturday, June 5, is World Environment Day, which advocates environmental action and the need to protect our planet.
- This date has been celebrated since 1972 and more than 100 countries have joined it.
- The textile and fashion industries are two key sectors in reversing the climate crisis, due to the strong environmental impact of the conventional industry.
Today, 5 June, World Environment Day is celebrated, the United Nations’ biggest annual event in defence of our planet. This date goes back to 1972, coinciding with the Stockholm Conference on the Environment, known as the First Earth Summit, which for the first time addressed the climate issue at the international level. Furthermore, this date marks the United Nations General Assembly resolution for the creation of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). Since then, the day has been celebrated in more than 100 countries, with awareness-raising activities of all kinds to highlight the need to protect our natural resources and ecosystems.
This year 2021, the host country will be Pakistan, under the theme of «ecosystems restoration». The event will formally launch the United Nations Decade for Ecosystem Restoration 2021-2030.
The textile and fashion industry plays an important role in the protection of the environment, as one of the main contributors to its destruction. It is the second most polluting industry. The long chain of production and consumption leads to a great waste and devastation of natural resources. The textile sector is responsible for 20% of the world´s polluted water, due to aggressive fabric dying treatments. In addition, an average of 600 litres of water are used for every kilo of textiles. The excessive use of raw materials due to over-consumption, the pollution caused by transport from manufacturing countries to the point of sale and the lack of recycling of garments by consumers are just a few examples of the malpractices of the conventional industry, which is completely unsustainable. If this trend continues, many ecosystems will be irreversibly affected.
Fortunately, the sector is undergoing a transformation which, although slow, is taking important steps. Practices such as the recycling of clothing are fundamental, but it is necessary to delve deeper into the basic problem of this industry. Responsible consumption, non-use of pesticides in cotton plantations and other raw materials, and sustainable alternatives to aggressive dyes are just some of the challenges that need to be addressed.
The COSME project CirCoAX by CircularInnoBooster works to promote the innovation of SMEs and startups that work to achieve, through creativity and reinvention, these sustainability objectives based on circular and regenerative economy models. Through this initiative we aim to close the loop of the value chain, ensuring that processes are environmentally friendly from the materials being used to the end of life of the garments. Therefore, CirCoAX is celebrating World Environment Day. The call for interested proposals will be launched soon.
The protection of our natural resources and ecosystems is an essential objective of the project. This commitment must last every day of the year. There is no planet B.
About CirCoAX by CircularInnoBooster
CirCoAX by CircularInnoBooster is a project of the COSME program of the European Union, with a duration of 2 years and a budget of 1.128.000 €. It is 75% co-financed by the European Commission. Led by the IED (Istituto Europeo di Design), together with the Finnova Foundation, Texfor, Circulab and The Circular Project with HumanNation, it aims to transform the highly polluting fashion and textile industries through innovation and by promoting entrepreneurship to generate business models based on the circular economy, turning SMEs and start-ups into sustainable, circular, and regenerative companies. To this end, 30 SMEs and start-ups will be selected to be part of the CirCoAX accelerator, receiving funding, mentoring and technical assistance.
CirCoAX LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/circoax-by-circularinnobooster
COSME is the program for the Competitiveness of Small and Medium Enterprises of the Executive Agency for Small and Medium Enterprises (EASME) of the European Commission.
Through this program, assistance is offered to SMEs to develop their business models, access financing, and internationalize. Likewise, support is offered to public administrations to improve the business environment and facilitate economic growth in the European Union. During the 2014-2020 funding period, this program allocated 2.3 billion euros to support SMEs.
The Istituto Europeo di Design is an academic institution that operates in the fields of education, training, and research in the disciplines of design, fashion, visual communication, and management, covering professional, vocational, and business design training. IED has branches across Spain (Madrid, Barcelona), Italy (Milan, Rome, and 5 other cities), and Brazil (São Paolo, Rio de Janeiro). It operates across several EU and COSME countries through collaborations and agreements with institutions, business support organizations, professors, experts, and mentors with whom it has established relationships. IED draws on a broad network of connections in the F&T sector specifically for this project, drawing on R&D in the areas of fashion design, product design, interior design, visual arts, communications, and management.
FINNOVA is a foundation that works for the promotion and development of innovation and entrepreneurship at the EU level. With headquarters in Brussels, it operates through collaborations and partnerships across EU countries. FINNOVA expertise in leading communication and dissemination activities for EU projects is coupled with strong proven experience in setting up businesses and entrepreneurial support programmes, like accelerators, incubators and selection and award/ceremonial events.
TEXFOR is the reference textile association in Spain with 400 members. Founded in November 2010 and located in Catalonia, it groups companies of the whole textile value chain, from yarns to fabrics including accessories, finishing processes, printing and dying for the apparel industry, home textiles, and technical/industrial applications. Texfor has specialization and experience, having worked on important EU-level expert committees: University and Vocational Training, Financial capacity building, Cross-Sectoral collaboration, R+D+I promotion, specialized services, and sustainability leadership focused on the circular economy.
CIRCULAB is a business design lab and studio specialised in developing transformation methodology, tools and programmes to help businesses develop circular and sustainable business models. CIRCULAB has designed a toolkit for implementing Circularity in businesses and operates across +23 countries (9 EU countries), supporting projects through +60 certified independent CE consultants, applying the Circ methodology and tools.
TCP is a Circular and Slow Fashion promotion firm that collaborates with experts in the field to offer a communication strategy, platform and expertise on circular value chains, applying a broad and systemic approach to Circular Economy, integrating social, ethical, environmental and economic approaches. It has a strong presence and connections to the sustainable fashion world through the Asociación Española para la Sostenibilidad, la Innovación y la Circularidad en Moda, Sannas (Triple Bottom Line Business Association) and a broad institutional and industrial network across Spain, Europe and South America.
For this project, The Circular Project works with HumanNation for the co-design and development of the project. HumanNation is a consulting firm specialised in the development of transformative and disruptive ecosystems of innovation and business: the ‘New Economy’. Based on the Fourth Economic Sector, systemic thinking and co-creation, it promotes awareness within organizations and ecosystems to respect planetary boundaries and social fabric, creating resilient economies at the local level, with a global perspective.