The report explains that significant opportunities exist to reduce the waste generated during the production of garments in the form of offcuts of materials. The report challenges the widely held view that the waste in clothing manufacturing accounts for between 10% and 20% of the materials used, and cites Reverse Resources’ recent research findings. From analysing waste from seven major garment factories, Reverse Resources revealed that, on average, 25% of material is cut off during production, and this figure can be 40% or more in some cases.

The report points towards Reverse Resources software platform as a solution, in that it allows manufacturers to analyse and then reduce their offcuts. It commends the positive business case which exists for both manufacturers and buyers, and explains that collaboration between the two is needed to overcome currently misaligned incentives. Reverse Resources approach to using offcuts in mass production is included as a detailed case study.

Industry figures have lined up to support the report, including the likes of H&M Group, C&A, Nike, Lenzing Group, United Nations, political leaders in the USA and Europe, industry think-tanks and NGOs.

“The circular economy provides an unprecedented opportunity to build restorative and fair approaches in the apparel industry. For the first time this report illuminates the challenges and resulting opportunities in creating endless flows of fibres. The report sets the stage for businesses to embrace and embed circular business models and technologies and more importantly forms a basis for systemic collaboration and convergence toward a new normal,” said Jeffrey Hogus, Chief Sustainability Officer, C&A.

Ann Runnel, Founder and CEO of Reverse Resources, added, “We are delighted to have been recognised by Ellen MacArthur Foundation and the Circular Fibres Initiative, the authors of this landmark report. Moving towards a circular economy goes far beyond traditional measures to reduce the negative impacts of the current linear system, it requires a significant shift in mindset, investment and innovation. This report shows the art of the possible, and reveals the new opportunities that exist for brands and garment businesses around the world.”

To download the report click here.