September 23, 2020

Circle Economy initiates project to put circular textiles to work

Circle Economy, with the support of the Goldschmeding Foundation, has initiated a project during which we aim to define the optimal circular textiles value chain for both people and resources in the Netherlands.

Circle Economy, with the support of the Goldschmeding Foundation, has initiated a project during which we aim to define the optimal circular textiles value chain for both people and resources in the Netherlands.


The project strives to establish a current baseline of the existing jobs and skills pertaining to the textiles industry in the Netherlands and develop scenarios outlining various circular value chains. Research will quantify the potential job creation and job losses related to these circular supply chain scenarios, and in particular, qualify their potential to open up employment opportunities for vulnerable workers. The skills needs related to the scenario with the highest potential for positive social impact will be identified.  

Running during 2020-2021, the project aims to support the Netherlands’ aim to be fully circular by 2050. The corresponding necessary shift to circularity in the Dutch textiles industry will have a vast impact on the workforce involved as the transition to circularity entails shifting roles across the end-of-use value chain.


To date, existing jobs and corresponding skills might not meet the requirements of a circular textiles industry. Pursuing a circular economy for textiles - and more broadly for all consumer goods - in the Netherlands will have socio-economic effects, locally and abroad. However, the implications and opportunities of the changing nature of work and associated skills for the textiles industry are still very much unknown.


During the project, we expect to validate findings with pilots as well as develop recommendations for the government, industry and education sector toward the implementation of the highest potential circular supply chain scenario, both for textiles specifically and consumer goods in general.

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