C&A Foundation Funds Circle Textiles Programme

November 3, 2016

Accelerating the transition to a closed loop textiles industry 

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C&A Foundation has dedicated €250,000 to Circle Economy to expand the Circle Textiles Programme. Over the past 1.5 years, Circle Economy has developed extensive expertise and hands-on experience in the field of circular fashion, through their vanguard Circle Textiles Programme.

Thanks to C&A Foundation’s generous grant, we can push this ambitious program to the next level and take the bold steps necessary to scale our zero waste mission. We plan to build on the success and expertise of the Circle Textiles Program to date, but also develop new tools for the industry that are critical in engaging companies in closed loop strategies.

– Gwen Cunningham, Lead Circle Textiles at Circle Economy

Launched in 2014, the Circle Textiles Programme’s mission is to ‘close the loop’ for textiles and create a zero waste industry. With a unique focus on end-of life and systems redesign, the programme aims to achieve a zero-waste industry by developing and establishing a commercial and scalable model for closing the loop on post-industrial, pre-consumer and post-consumer textiles.

Circle Economy approaches these issues facing the world’s second most polluting industry through practical, on the ground tools and services. To date, the Circle Textiles Program core projects include:

  • Fibersort – An automated sorting technology that sorts large volumes of mixed post-consumer textiles based on fiber composition.
  • Circle Market – A pioneering online marketplace for the recovery, reuse and resale of textile materials
  • High Value-recycling Pilots – Circle Economy joined forced with our members Recover, Reblend, G-Star and Reshare to test and prove the true potential of high-value recycling in order to leverage untapped ‘waste’ streams to create new textiles on a large scale

With the support of C&A Foundation, Circle Economy will expand their efforts to ensure the continued growth of the programme and support the development of the ‘Circle Fashion’ tool. The tool will be designed to facilitate decision-making for brands who want to understand the business case and environmental impacts behind closed-loop recycling and sourcing. By using the tool, a brand will be able to evaluate the practical end-of-life options for textile waste (eg. incineration vs. downcycling vs. high-value recycling) and weigh both the environmental and economic impacts of these scenarios. Circle Economy is looking to develop this tool with global brands who wish to implement innovative new solutions in the textiles industry.

“At C&A Foundation, we believe that fashion can be a force for good. Circle Economy’s pragmatic, tool-based approach will make it easier for the global apparel industry to transition to new, restorative business models.

– Leslie Johnston , Executive Director, C&A Foundation

Transitioning to a circular textiles industry will enable continued fibre consumption without the depletion or destruction of our earth’s natural resources and ecosystems. With the C&A Foundation’s funding Circle Economy will have the ability to build on the success and expertise of the Circle Textiles Program and accelerate the transition to a closed-loop textiles industry.


About C&A Foundation

C&A Foundation is a corporate foundation here to transform the fashion industry. We give our partners the financial support, expertise and networks so they can make the industry work better for every person it touches. We do this because we believe that despite the vast and complex challenges, we can work together to make fashion a force for good.



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