Sustainable Growth in the Textile Production / Consumption Cluster

Multi Stakeholder Dialogue and Vision Building Towards Sustainable Growth in the Textile Production/Consumption Cluster – Work Wear Sector’, funded by the European commission (DG12)

This was a 2 year, large scale sustainable research project, undertaken with all stakeholders in the Work Wear lifecycle. It was developed to create manufacturing networks in the European Union states to enhance process information exchange and best practice toward sustainable manufacture and growth in the textile sector. Stakeholder symposia were organised in 8 European countries, with participants from work wear wearers and manufacturers, drawn from traditional textile and clothing networks, institutional buyers, local authorities, government bodies, social and environmental NGO’s and Trade Unions. A series of interdisciplinary and inter-institutional stakeholder meetings took place across Europe, resulting in a series of detailed reports to inform the sustainable manufacturing policy agenda in Europe, aimed at improving the clothing available from ethical and sustainable sources for a possible work force of 92 million.

The project hosts were: European Partners for the Environment (EPE), the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), and the Belgian Association of Eco Counsellors (ABCEC). I was co-investigator on the project, conducting primary research to develop purchasing policy guidelines, as a sustainable fashion textiles consultant for IIED. The lessons learned from this vanguard project have been applied throughout the European Union, resulting in institutional green purchasing policies and a new ISO standard, which is being adopted worldwide by government and institutional buyers.