Sergio Tamborini, the president of SMI (Sistema Moda Italia), the association grouping all Italian textile and fashion entrepreneurs, recently presented to the Italian Parliament a project aimed at creating a consortium of Italian entrepreneurs for an optimized management of the waste produced by the fashion industry. The initiative wants to anticipate some legal decisions on this topic and set a clear direction for the industry, while Italian politicians are starting their work for the preparation of specific laws on this topic.
For the occasion, Tamborini described the characteristics of the textile and apparel (T&A) industry, its strengths and weaknesses while underlining the vast array of products it can offer.
As the sector is moving toward a more sustainable growth model, considering it is a "high-density" resource one, the European Commission has already introduced measures meant to start collecting textile waste from 2025 onward.
Within this context, Tamborini presented the SMI strategy for reusing and recycling T&A waste through an extended producer responsibility (EPR). An SMI Position Paper outlines its aim to start a program for managing waste of the textile, apparel, footwear and leather sectors.
SMI and other textile entrepreneurs will be the promoters of a nonprofit consortium of producers who could eventually operate within an Italian EPR program to support entrepreneurs face a new system of rules.
Key points of the Position Paper by SMI include the definition of which products, producers and dealers–including e-commerce platforms and marketplaces–shall be involved and how the textile waste will be collected and treated.
The organization of the differentiated collection of the textile waste will be done through a coordinated system of producers both through voluntary selected collection programs and through public service. The program will also involve a careful and programmed use of the resources from the RRP (Recovery and Resilience Plan) within the "EPR regime" and a progressive and rational series of objectives in terms of collection, reuse, recycling and recovery of the textile waste.
They also expect the imposition of an eco-contribution visible on the selling of new textile products that should be determined considering the costs related to the end of life of garments.
In addition, they underlined the need to increase the level of transparency and legality in managing textile waste as a priority in regulating the "EPR regime" and the action of the systems of producers.