BESTSELLER pilots 2 circularity projects in Bangladesh

Fashion FWD Lab, the sustainability platform of the BESTSELLER Group, a Denmark-based family-owned clothing company owning 20 brands, is piloting two major circularity projects in Bangladesh, with one of those supporting utilisation of its own textile cutting scraps, creating a valuable closed-loop system in a fully transparent supply chain.

Textile waste is most often shipped back and forth in the process of becoming new recycled yarn and fabrics. To avoid just another negative environmental impact, the two circularity projects keep the waste in sight.

“We’re working locally in Bangladesh with one of our big, longstanding suppliers to ensure our production waste is used within a closed-loop system in a fully transparent supply chain. In short, this means we are collecting and recycling our own brands’ cutting waste into new styles,” said Camilla Skjønning Jørgensen, sustainable materials and innovation manager, BESTSELLER, in a press release.

Cotton is ideal for circular projects and Bangladesh was an obvious location. A significant amount of BESTSELLER’s overall production is based in Bangladesh, with a particular emphasis on cotton, so Fashion FWD Lab has teamed up with GMS Composite Knitting, BESTSELLER’s biggest jersey supplier in the country.

“We want to explore how we can keep the cotton waste in Bangladesh and set up workable circularity systems there. Keeping the waste in Bangladesh, even with the same supplier, benefits both economic and environmental perspectives, which we value immensely,” Camilla added.

To develop the desirable new recycled yarns, BESTSELLER collaborates with CYCLO, a Bangladeshi recycled cotton fibre firm on a mission to responsibly recycle the hundreds of tonnes of cotton fabric discarded daily as cutting waste.

By eliminating the dyeing process, CYCLO’s mechanical recycling process greatly reduces the amount of water, energy, chemicals and carbon emissions.

“Mechanically recycling fabric scraps to make fibre has been around a long time. However, this fibre has traditionally been downcycled and the resulting yarn written off as too ‘low quality’ for the fashion industry. Our goal was to prove to the world that there is a tremendous opportunity to upcycle these fibres back into fashion,“ said Mustafain Munir, founder and director, CYCLO.

Recently, Global Fashion Agenda launched the Circular Fashion Partnerships (CFP), an initiative that BESTSELLER joined in its initial phase. While the collaboration with CYCLO and GMS focuses on utilising waste immediately and implementing it directly in future collections, CFP works on a more structural level. With an end goal to succeed in implementing effective waste stream structures, the CFP works as a natural extension of BESTSELLER’s current efforts.

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