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Sustainable new look for Scottish textiles with launch of £2m fund

Zero Waste Scotland and the Scottish Government have today (Friday 24 June 2022) launched a new £2m fund to help reduce the environmental burden of textiles.

24 Jun 22

The Circular Textiles Fund will go directly to businesses across the textiles industry in Scotland, from fashion to upholstery. 

Textiles have an extremely high environmental impact – with Zero Waste Scotland’s latest Carbon Metric report showing textiles, which make up just four per cent of waste by weight, account for nearly a third (32 per cent) of the carbon impact of Scotland’s household waste. 

The Circular Textiles Fund will support innovative projects that have what it takes to be part of Scotland's circular economy, in which resources are valued and made to last. Applications to the fund can be from individual businesses or represent a collaboration between businesses to achieve the objectives below. 

Potential business models include those that: 

  • Reduce demand for new textiles, such as clothing and textile rental, reuse, and repair services; 
  • Employ sustainable manufacturing processes; 
  • Reduce in-life environmental impacts, such as mitigating the pollution from washing textiles and making them easier to reuse and repair; 
  • Maximise the amount of textile waste that is captured and recycled. 

Iain Gulland, Chief Executive of Zero Waste Scotland, said: 

“As a nation, we need to rethink the way we make, buy, and use products and take action to consume more responsibly. Businesses have a key role to play in facilitating that shift, helping customers make more sustainable purchasing decisions while also contributing to a greener economy. 

“With textiles responsible for such a significant chunk of the carbon footprint of Scotland’s household waste it’s vital that we move away from a throwaway approach to products and materials and make things last instead. The Circular Textiles Fund is a fantastic opportunity for businesses to be part of the solution.” 

This announcement comes shortly after the Scottish Government launched two public consultations on proposals for a Circular Economy Bill and Route Map to 2025. The consultations form part of strategic plans to deliver Scotland’s zero waste and circular economy ambitions.  

Lorna Slater, Circular Economy Minister, said:  

“Every material that is wasted comes at a cost to our planet, but it’s clear that textiles are having a disproportionate environmental impact.  

“From fashion to furniture, there are huge opportunities for businesses with creative ideas to help address that problem. That's why we are creating the £2million Circular Textiles Fund, which will help businesses in Scotland turn their proposals into reality.  

“Alongside our Circular Economy Bill, this will help grow the number of sustainable businesses in Scotland and help prevent textiles from ending up in landfill or incineration.”  

Rebekah Chapman, Production Technician at Kalopsia Collective said:  

“The circular economy is a big deal for Kalopsia and we have worked hard to minimise every aspect of our environmental impact. For us it’s a passion, and it’s one we know is shared by many working in the Scottish textiles sector. 

“We’re delighted to help launch the Circular Textiles Fund and look forward to seeing more businesses doing things differently for the future of people and planet.”

Businesses that are interested in applying for the fund must fill out an Expression of Interest form, which can be downloaded from the Zero Waste Scotland website and submitted it to textiles@zerowastescotland.org.uk by 29 July 2022.  

Expressions of Interest will be assessed against the criteria and applicants will be notified if they have been invited to stage two by 28 August 2022.

For more information on the details of the fund and how to apply visit circulartextilesfund.scot


(left to right: Rebekah Chapman - Kalopsia, Lorna Slater - Minister for the Circular Economy, Iain Gulland - Zero Waste Scotland)

Chief Executive of Zero Waste Scotland, Iain Gulland, and Minister for the Circular Economy, Lorna Slater, today launched a £2m Circular Textiles Fund at Kalopsia Collective, in Dunfermline. The fund, which is now open for applications, will help reduce the environmental impact of textiles by supporting Scottish businesses to become more circular. 





Notes For Editors

The Circular Textiles Fund focuses on the five key areas that will have maximum impact in helping Scotland reach net-zero: 

Reducing consumption - measures that encourage more responsible consumption of textiles, such as clothing and textile rental, reuse, and repair.   

Design for circularity - supporting organisations to improve how clothing and soft furnishings are designed to maximise the end-of-life potential. This could include specifying preferred materials, reducing the use of mix materials, reducing chemicals used that can affect the ability to reuse and recycle products, material labelling, and adjustability for resizing. 

Supply chain management and specification - supporting organisations who procure textiles, be it uniform, bedding including mattresses, soft furnishings to specify materials and designs that can be easily reused, repaired and have a reduced impact. This could include closed loop pilots for low-impact materials for bedding (including second-life fabrics), uniforms that can be altered for reuse, and diversion from incineration of uniforms by smart design. 

Clothing care and chemical reclaim and management - Supporting organisations to develop chemical reclaim processes and prevent plastic shedding. This could include overcoming the challenges of flame retardant chemicals and banned substances, and implementation of new inert methods or systems for end-of-life processing. 

End of life (reprocessing) - Supporting organisations to maximise the potential of waste textiles. This could include material sorting technologies to better sort and grade for reuse, creation of new products from waste, tonnage being moved up the waste hierarchy, and reprocessing of problem materials. 

About Zero Waste Scotland 

Zero Waste Scotland exists to lead Scotland to use products and resources responsibly, focusing on where we can have the greatest impact on climate change.   

Using evidence and insight, our goal is to inform policy, and motivate individuals and businesses to embrace the environmental, economic, and social benefits of a circular economy.   

We are a not-for-profit environmental organisation funded by the Scottish Government. 

More information on all Zero Waste Scotland’s programmes can be found at https://www.zerowastescotland.org.uk/. You can also keep up to date with the latest from Zero Waste Scotland via our social media channels - Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn 

About Kalopsia Collective

Kalopsia Collective is a social enterprise textiles product manufacturer specialising in the development of sustainable businesses models. Kalopsia’s innovative ‘Assemble’ manufacture model was designed with the circular economy in mind.  

By simply pairing their fabrics with existing product shapes, Kalopsia’s clients can quickly and effectively order textiles products with minimal waste and benefit from suggestions on how to use their surplus as well as plans for repair and disassembly.  

This model retains the maximum amount of textiles surplus and knowledge in the production system, drastically improving the environmental, social and economic impact of Kalopsia’s manufacturing operations and that of their clients.  

For media enquiries contact:

Sophie Thirkell, Communications Officer (PR and Media), Zero Waste Scotland

Mobile: 07966 284095

Email: sophie.thirkell@zerowastescotland.org.uk  

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