OTB, the international fashion and luxury group that controls the Diesel, Jil Sander, Maison Margiela, Marni and Viktor&Rolf brands, the Staff International and Brave Kid companies, and holds a stake in the Amiri brand, and Diesel will set up a pilot project togetehr with the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) to create a reduced-emissions circular business system.
The initiative was officially launched by UNIDO, OTB and Diesel during a conference organised in Monastir, Tunisia. The idea behind the project is that production scrap can and should be treated as a resource and that more responsible use of raw materials can be achieved through circular business models extended to the entire supply chain, with the essential involvement of suppliers.
The project will be developed in the second half of 2022 and through 2023, with Diesel and its Tunisian partners creating a virtuous circle for scrap from fabric-cutting operations. The objectives are to strengthen production waste management practices, improve the differentiation of the various categories of scrap and start up a pilot mechanical recycling process for fabric scrap consisting largely or entirely of cotton. Quality scrap will be used to make new garments, while the remaining scrap will be available for other end users.
This new business model aims to ensure that the value of raw material is kept high throughout the local supply chain, and also has the ambition to contribute to the adoption of a circular approach by the entire system. This new approach could help reduce dependence on virgin resources and optimise scrap, turning it once again into a raw material that provides value.
According to a recent study, the textile industry in Tunisia produces 31,000 tons of waste, 55% of which is classified as scrap. The replacement of virgin textile fibers with recycled fibers could therefore reduce the industry's environmental impact, safeguarding water and cutting carbon emissions and the dispersal of hazardous chemical substances into agriculture.
The OTB and Diesel pilot project is part of the EU-funded Switch Med program developed in cooperation with the Tunisian government and the Tunisian textile and clothing federation, and it has the aim to establish a benchmark in the fashion industry to strengthen its focus on sustainability and the use of recycled materials and textiles.