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UNIDO launches MED TEST III in Morocco and Tunisia to develop circular value chains for the local textile and garment industry

SwitchMed / MED TEST III will cooperate with international fashion brands and the ZDHC foundation to progress the supply chain for textile and garment industries in Morocco and Tunisia to become more circular and less polluting.
Published on Dec 10, 2019

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Accounting for 8% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions and with only 1% of the global textile production being recycled, the negative impacts of the textile and garment industry on the climate are becoming increasingly evident. Moreover, the global demand for fibres for the textile and garment industry is expected to grow by 40% by 2023 and growing consumer awareness on the environmental impact of fashion has created a rising demand for sustainably produced textile products. Global textile and fashion brands have therefore started to analyse their supply chains for better alternatives, including renewable and recycled fibres, and replacing chemicals to establish cleaner production processes.

On the 22 and on the 26 November,  two launching events held in Morocco and Tunisia UNIDO together with local textile associations and representatives from international brands presented actions MED TEST III project will work on improving the textile supply chain to adopt cleaner and more circular production models.

Beginning in 2020, UNIDO will together with international experts, value chain stakeholders and business association’s work in Morocco and Tunisia on actions that can improve the management of chemicals in the production and accelerate the recycling of post-industrial and pre-consumer waste back into textile and garments.

For this reason, UNIDO has explored areas of collaboration with several international fashion brands, the Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals (ZDHC) Foundation, and actors from the European textile recycling and yarn spinning industry, to access and sensitize the supply chains in Morocco and Tunisia.

 “This is an important step for the textile and apparel industry in the region as it helps to retain value and resources in the countries, drive innovation, and improve the capacities to globally compete with sustainably produced products”, said UNIDO Project Manager Carolina Gonzalez.  “Working together with some of the leading brands in the fashion industry and the ZDHC Foundation is creating a win-win situation for everyone involved in the project”.

UNIDO will develop local capacities to facilitate proper classification, efficient collection, sorting and recycling of post-industrial and pre-consumer textile waste in Morocco and Tunisia. This will help to upgrade processes and operations of local SMEs along the textile supply chain and increase their ability to meet future market requirements.

Eliminating the use of hazardous chemicals in textile production is imperative to ensure that can protect consumers, workers and the natural environment. Together with the ZDHC Foundation, UNIDO will facilitate the qualification of service providers in Morocco and Tunisia that can serve as references and provide expertise for local textile companies in setting up internal monitoring and management of safer chemicals and a roadmap for adhering to the ZDHC protocol.  The action will also include industry demonstrations to highlight the local requirements needed to develop a national roadmap towards the use of safer chemicals in the local textile industry.

Click here for more information on the MED TEST III activities in Morocco and Tunisia in English and French.