In a warehouse on the outskirts of Barcelona, women stand at conveyor belts, manually sorting T-shirts, jeans and dresses from large bales of used clothing — a small step towards tackling Europe’s towering problem of discarded fashion.
Within a year, the sorting centre run by garment re-use and recycling charity Moda Re plans to double the volume it handles to 40,000 tonnes annually.
Partly funded by Zara owner Inditex, Moda Re will expand sites in Barcelona, Bilbao and Valencia, in some of the first signs of a planned ramp-up in garment sorting, processing and recycling capacity in response to a barrage of new EU proposals to curb the fashion industry.
Also in Spain, rivals including H&M, Mango and Inditex have created a nonprofit association to manage clothing waste, responding to an EU law requiring member states to separate textiles from other waste from January 2025.
Despite such efforts, less than a quarter of Europe’s 5.2-million tonnes of clothing waste is recycled and millions of tonnes ends up as landfill every year, the European Commission said in July.
Fast fashion, making and selling cheap clothes with a short lifespan, is “highly unsustainable”, the commission said, adding that the textile industry is a major contributor to climate change and environmental damage.
Source : Business Live