ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability is a global network working with more than 2,500 local and regional governments committed to sustainable urban development.


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ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability is a global network working with more than 2,500 local and regional governments committed to sustainable urban development.

ICLEI Regional Secretariats and country offices

EU SWITCH-Asia-Transitions to CIRCULAR economy practices in TEXTILE and apparel MSMEs along the lifecycle in Huzhou and Shaoxing

What we are doing

The textile and apparel industry now face various challenges in achieving a complete transformation to a circular economy. The Outlook for a New Textile Economy in China. The action aims to facilitate the transition to circular economy practices in the textile and fashion industry in Huzhou City and Shaoxing City, China, by 2025. This action will support the development of a green, low-carbon, resource-efficient and more circular economy in the textile and apparel industry sector. The action will work across the full value chain, covering the whole life cycle of textile and apparels, from design to fibre-yarn-fabric-apparel production, and from waste collection to recycling enterprises. Retailers and brands will also be involved in the action. The action also addresses priority 1 - to support MSMEs in reducing the environmental impact of their industrial production, improving resource efficiency and adopting circular economy practices along the whole lifecycle. The work plan includes activities such as technical assistance to develop business cases for dissemination and improve bankability of projects through ICLEI’s Transformative Actions Program, satisfying the requirement to address access to finance and investment dimension. The objectives of the action also contribute to SDG Targets 12.2 and 12.5. China's textile and apparel industry is a traditional advantage industry in the national economy, closely linked with the international market.

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How we are tracking

1)Number of textile and apparel industry associations engaged and capacitated 2)Number of MSMEs trained to select environment-friendly and resource efficient technologies including sourcing, producing and recycling 3)Wastewater consumption (or watsewater recycling rate) 4)Energy consumption (or energy efficiency) 5)Number of the textile products designed for circularity at the product design phase 6) Amount of Industrial solid wastes which can be traced to be recycled 8)Number of entrepreneurial solutions with the MSMEs having circularity challenges 9) Number of action roadmaps and guidelines (including recycling and eco-design standards, green public procurement) local and national authorities engaged in 10) Number of policy or government documents on climate action plans at city level which reference the need to tackle embedded carbon in textile and apparel products 11) Number of access to financing for resource efficiency and circular economy practices and investments among the MSMEs and entrepreneurs

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What we are achieving

In order to facilitate a just transition to a Circular Economy in the textile and fashion sector in Huzhou City and Shaoxing City the action is designed to enhance scalable and replicable resource-efficient business models by adopting three key strategies: 1. Capacity building and holistic technical support will be delivered to selected business units, including demonstration activities and open innovation strategies to attract and engage innovation communities to respond to SCP challenges (WP3 and WP4). 2. Policy support will be provided, focusing on strategic planning and peer learning at the city level. This is envisioned with the objective of harnessing the potential of Circular Economy strategies for climate change mitigation and as a countermeasure against environmental degradation. This strategy will utilize the connection between demonstration and capitalisation activities to facilitate policy uptake as a key result of the action (WP5). 3. Access to sustainable finance will fast track the adoption of Circular Economy practice and will raise awareness and connect potential public and private investors and SMEs (WP6).

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