Developing a Circular Textiles System for Ireland

This research project is funded by the EPA under the Green Enterprise programme and will run from February 2021 through October 2022.

Image: Rediscovery Centre

The Problem

The fashion industry produces up to 10% of global CO2 emissions, is the second largest consumer of water of any industry, has significant impacts on water and ocean pollution.

In Ireland, about 68,000 tonnes textiles are discarded every year by householders and commercial users. By comparison, about 14,500 tonnes of textiles are reused by ICSA membersIf we could divert just 15% of textiles currently discarded, over 100,000 tonnes carbon could be avoided.

Project Overview

Circular Textiles will involve a pilot programme to test the impact of three different separate collection systems – such as kerbside collections, or new collection points – for used textiles on the Irish market.

To our knowledge, a project of this nature has not been carried out before. It is particularly important to test systems in Ireland because of our unique context – with an extensive charity retail sector and privatised waste collection system. A communications campaign will be a key element of the pilot. 

The project will also explore how we could manage the additional quantity of textiles that are collected. This will provide local business opportunities and support resilience

In addition to the EPA, the project will involve a wide range of stakeholders including the Department of the Environment, Climate and CommunicationsRREUSE, Clean Technology Centre, the Irish Charity Shop Association and members, the Rediscovery Centre and the Southern Waste Management Plan Lead Authority.

Image: ICSA member Vincent's Drogheda Laurence Centre

Contact us:

Please contact research lead Christine Costelloe via [email protected] with any queries or feedback on this project.

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Our funders

EPA National Waste Prevention Programme

CRNI supports its members and works to mainstream reuse thanks to core funding provided by the EPA under the National Waste Prevention Programme.

For more information about the programme see here.

Project Funding

Pilot Northern Ireland Reuse and Repair Network

CRNI received funding from the Department of Agriculture, Environment and rural Affairs in 2020 to carry out a pilot establishing a reuse and repair network in Northern Ireland.

For more information about the project see here.

Qualification and Quantification of Reuse

CRNI is part of a research consortium working on the Q2Reuse project, which aims to develop a methodology for the qualification and quantification of reuse. This project will be concluded in 2021.

For more information about the project see here.