Extended producer responsibility is here, and it’s here to stay.
The textile industry has long been synonymous with unsustainable practices, from excessive water consumption and chemical pollution to the staggering amount of textile waste gathering dust in stockrooms and bursting out of landfill.
In 2017 the Waste and Resources Action Programme report…’in England alone over 1 million tonnes of textiles were estimated to be disposed of in, household and commercial municipal residual waste, with clothing equating to almost 400,000 tonnes and non-clothing textiles almost 430,000 tonnes.
Further, research done by ZWS ‘shows that textiles account for 4% of household waste by weight but 32% of emissions’
What if we harness the power of Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) to drive positive change? What if EPR could be more than just a bureaucratic mechanism and instead become a dynamic force, incentivising sustainability and circularity?
Here at QSA Partners, we’re challenging conventional thinking and flipping EPR approaches on their head. We’re putting the textile industry at the forefront of this transformative journey.
It’s time to be different.
It’s time to lead the change.
Let’s disrupt the norm.
Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) is not a new concept, but it’s currently wading around in muddy waters with little positive direction. With regulatory constraints and rigid, overly-complicated systems, EPR is currently no-one’s best friend.
Traditionally, EPR has been seen as a means to hold producers accountable (often through additional taxing or fining) for the end-of-life disposal of their products, but we say, it holds so much more power…
Power to revolutionise the textiles industry. Power to transform businesses, and their environmental impact.
We’re asking: What if EPR was adaptive and reactive, responding to the evolving needs of the industry and the planet?
By asking difficult questions, we can begin to think differently about EPR. Adaptability is the driver in a world where environmental and consumer demands are constantly changing. We are leading the way in developing an EPR system that can adapt to these shifts. A system that is set free from legislative constraints. A system that is self-regulatory that puts industry in control.
A project for change
Our project, funded by Innovate UK and in partnership with UK Fashion and Textiles, British Fashion Council, British Retail Consortium, and the University of Exeter, is a bold one.
Our aim: To incentivise positive circular behaviours and drive change across the textile industry.
By daring to think differently, we know that positive change will happen. We know that staying still and ‘following the norm’ is not a viable option
In DEFRA’s publication, ‘The waste prevention programme for England: Maximising Resources, Minimising Waste’ our project is cited at number 1 for what the government is doing to minimise textile waste. Part-funded by NICER programme ‘Circular Economy for SMEs’ we’re working on an industry-led pilot to develop a model for an Extended Producer Responsibility scheme for textiles.
It starts with industry
This project puts the spotlight, and responsibility, onto the textile industry itself. By flipping the approach to building an EPR system, we ask: What data can brands give us to drive systems?
By regularly collecting and analysing real-time data, we can build a system which can incentivise circular behaviours and industry change. Why? Starting with industry at the forefront means we can create solutions collaboratively that are data driven, innovative, and adaptable. Ones that evolve as the industry evolves and that are – most importantly – achievable.
A system with a difference
No constraints. No parameters.
Instead…a revolution. We’re here to revolutionise the industry by using what it does have, what it can have and what it can tolerate to drive change and build systems. Systems that respond swiftly to emerging sustainability trends, thus enabling textile companies to stay dynamic for their own survival, and that of the planet.
Imagine an EPR system that incentivises the right behaviours, at the right time. A one that not only allows for innovative behaviours but positively encourages it.
That’s the kind of thinking that we’re about…
A dynamic approach to circularity
Circularity is the linchpin of a sustainable textiles industry, and EPR can be the driving force behind it.
What if EPR could inspire brands to adopt circular business models, where, for example, all products are designed for longevity, repairability, or recyclability right from the start?
At QSA Partners we understand that a dynamic EPR approach should not be limited to waste management alone but should encompass the entire product lifecycle. By incentivising companies to design textiles that are easier to rent, reuse, repair and recycle we are positively promoting a shift towards a truly circular economy.
Brands are compelled to think beyond the traditional linear “take-make-dispose” model and embrace a more sustainable, circular approach without compromising their revenue.
Can businesses really benefit financially from adopting sustainable practices and minimising waste?
Change, especially in a deeply entrenched industry like textiles, requires incentives. At QSA we recognise this and whole-heartedly believe that with the right design and collaborations a creatively curated EPR system can, and should, benefit businesses financially for their sustainable practices and minimising waste. Incentivising positive actions, should and will drive change.
Through developing innovative incentive mechanisms, companies that reduce their environmental footprint and actively engage in rent, reuse, repair and recycle initiatives will be rewarded. This not only motivates businesses to become more sustainable but also fosters healthy competition within the industry as well as opening doors to additional revenue streams.
Incentivising positive action ensures that EPR is not just another regulatory burden but a driving force for innovation and change.
QSA Partners: pioneering innovation and collaboration
Innovation and adaptability CAN thrive within the textiles industry. By challenging conventional thinking and pushing the boundaries of EPR, we urge industry leaders to embrace change.
We are committed to collaborating with industry professionals, using real-life data and harnessing its power for transformative change. Our data first approach ensures that EPR in the textiles industry remains relevant and effective in the face of ever-evolving challenges.
We pride ourselves in our dedication to collaboration and challenge. By challenging systems, we can create new solutions. Driving change in a complex industry like textiles requires the collective effort of producers, consumers, policymakers, and environmentalists. By bringing all stakeholders to the table, we create a holistic, team approach to EPR that addresses the industry’s challenges from multiple angles.
A Different Way Can Make a Difference
The textiles industry stands at a crossroads, where unsustainable practices can no longer be the norm. Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) has the potential to be a transformative mechanism for change. This is where we – QSA Partners – are leading thinking.
EPR can – and should – be adaptive, reactive, and dynamic. It can, and should, inspire positive action and incentivise circularity. It’s our job to ensure this happens for businesses and the planet.
As businesses and consumers increasingly prioritise sustainability, EPR systems that encourage responsible production and consumption are more critical than ever. The textiles industry has the opportunity to not only reduce its environmental impact but also position itself as a beacon of positive change.
The work we are doing brings us one step closer to realising this vision and creating a more sustainable and responsible textiles industry for future generations.