During the Global Fashion Summit in Copenhagen, Denmark, the CTI Fashion Initiative was unveiled as a new collaboration to propel the adoption of circularity in the fashion industry. Led by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), VF Corporation and Deloitte Switzerland, the collaboration unites industry players to establish harmonized standards, metrics, data and best practices to scale up a circular economy throughout the fashion and textile value chain.

At the heart of the CTI Fashion Initiative lies the globally recognized metrics system, the Circular Transition Indicators (CTI), developed by WBCSD. CTI is a quantitative, data-based and flexible framework offering an ideal set of metrics for establishing a sector-wide standard for the fashion industry that will support companies’ decision-making processes to implement circularity at scale.

The fashion industry plays an important role in shaping a net-zero, nature-positive and equitable world. Widespread adoption of circular strategies across the value chain has the potential to lower the industry’s pressure on both people and the planet while unlocking opportunities for value creation. Research shows that circular textile use and recycling can reduce global land use by 40% and substantially lower the industry’s carbon footprint. These transformative practices could present a USD $560 billion economic opportunity.

“As a beacon of creativity and innovation, the fashion industry has a once-in-a-lifetime chance to lead the way in the transition to a circular economy. Large-scale implementation of circular solutions is still lagging, however, and circular fashion must prove itself beyond its promise and deliver tangible impact. That’s where the true value of CTI comes into play. CTI provides consistent metrics for measuring circularity within the industry and creates the building blocks for promoting accountability, sustainable value creation and operationalization of circularity at scale,” said Jeff Turner, Senior Advisor at WBCSD.

Jeannie Renné-Malone, Leed Ap Bd+C, Vice President, Global Sustainability at VF Corporation, said, “The next chapter of the circularity journey needs to be headlined ‘collaboration.’ This is key for the circular economy to make progress and ensure sustainable practices become a mainstay in our industry. But, to put circularity in motion, we also need an industry that has a common way to assess and measure progress, as well as integrate it into our daily decision-making. CTI offers this aligned set of metrics for the fashion sector and others. In a measurable way, CTI enables linking circularity decisions such as product design for a specific purpose, the use of improved materials or the introduction of new business models – all of which are essential to advancing our collective circular ambitions. We are excited to be collaborating with WBCSD on establishing the CTI sector guidance for the fashion industry over the coming months and encourage others to join us on this journey.”

Carlo Giardinetti, Consulting Sustainability Lead at Deloitte Switzerland, said, “Deloitte Switzerland’s collaborative drive is at the heart of the industry transformation. The CTI Fashion Initiative is about aligning incentives, standardizing circularity measures and unlocking innovative business models for both industry players and consumers. We invite companies to join us as we transition from ambition to action. Together, let’s make the circular economy a tangible reality and showcase the true potential of collaboration.”

Debbie Shakespeare, Senior Director, Sustainability and Compliance at Avery Dennison, said, “Data is fashion’s best friend. Consumer cynicism will finally lift if the industry commits to transparency and accountability, and this is exactly what the CTI Fashion Initiative aspires to. The Circular Transition Indicators (CTI) are a step toward the verified data and agreed industry benchmarks the industry urgently needs on its journey to circular models of resale, repair and textile recycling. With sector-wide standards in place, we can be ready for incoming product transparency legislation. Carbon reduction targets can be tracked and reported. Greenwashing can be rinsed away. And we can provide the critical product data needed for textile sorters and recyclers to carry out the graft of bringing the circular economy to life.”

It’s time to kick into high gear and make circular fashion a reality. We invite fashion companies and industry stakeholders to join the CTI Fashion Initiative and be part of this transformative journey!