Zero Waste Scotland has announced a new fund to encourage Scottish fashion designers to develop their own closed-loop clothing. Financed in part by the Scottish government, the Circular Economy Textile and Apparel Grant Fund will debut in December in a bid to rein in textile waste using sustainable design, according to the Stirling-based nonprofit, which works with business, communities, and local authorities to reduce waste and boost recycling. Textile designers will be able to apply for grants of up to £5,000 ($7,850) each. Successful applicants will also receive mentoring from industry experts such as From Somewhere’s Orsola de Castro—often dubbed the “Queen of Upcycling”—who helped ring in the scheme at the Scottish Textile Symposium in Glasgow Thursday morning.
NO TEXTILE LEFT BEHIND
“I am delighted to take part in this exciting initiative with Zero Waste Scotland,” de Castro said in a statement ahead of the event, where she delivered the keynote speech. “The industry needs to take a positive approach to a changing world and sustainability will inevitably penetrate all aspects of the fashion an textile design and production. We need to look at waste as a resource, and inspire young designers to its immense creative potential and help the industry to understand its viability, scalability, and role in the future.”
Zero Waste Scotland says the new fund will allow local talents to “lead the way” in waste reduction, whether through zero-waste techniques, adaptations for end-of-life disassembly, or the use of closed-loop, post-consumer recycled textiles.
“It’s incredibly exciting to see Scotland leading the conversation on sustainability in textiles,” said Iain Gulland, chief executive of Zero Waste Scotland. “We have a really diverse and engaged mix of textile producers and clothing designers here in Scotland, and the funding we have announced today will enable the industry to start testing out ways to make waste a thing of the past in textiles, and create a circular textile economy that sees fabric flow in a cycle of reuse and eliminate waste to landfill.”