What challenges stand in the way of clothing recycling?

On July 29th, several experts on recycling in fashion gathered in a virtual webinar hosted by Sourcing Journal to discuss the challenges with circularity and the future of sustainability. The consensus was that the fashion industry needs to move away from the idea that a brand's responsibility ends when clothes sell. Brands need to be implementing take-back programs and incorporating more recycled products in their collections. This all sounds great and straight-forward; after all, recycling was widely introduced in the 1970s. If we could recycle aluminum cans back then, how hard can it be to implement the same technique with clothing now? It turns out it is more complicated than that. Recycling is crucial if the fashion industry is going to become circular. Still, technical challenges with the recycling processes, combined with cultural and financial hurdles, make efficient and widespread clothing recycling a far-fetched dream.

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