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Building Circularity in the Textiles Value Chain



The Value-Chain Approach will be a valuable tool to make the shift to sustainable consumption and production and solve the three planetary crises.

Inger Andersen

UNEP Executive Director

The ‘Value-Chain Approach’ is a methodology for accelerating science-based policy action on sustainable consumption and production patterns. The purpose is to identify key points of intervention within economic systems to reduce natural-resource use and environmental impacts caused by production and consumption, and to define a common agenda for action.

UNEP’s work on sustainable and circular textiles is following this notion of holistic thinking, which leads to changes at each stage in the value chain while involving players of all sizes and from all market segments. It implies that strategic interventions across the textile value chain need to be undertaken by all actors, such as national and local governments, brands and industry, and civil society – and across regions. In line with this approach, UNEP convenes an expert community to develop knowledge and solutions to advance towards more sustainability and circularity in the textile value chain.

This website collects materials and informs on events of UNEP and partners participating in its expert community around the topic.  

The Value-Chain Approach is the product of the International Resource Panel (IRP) and the One Planet network (OPN) TaskGroup, formed in response to a resolution on sustainable consumption and production at the 4th UN Environment Assembly (UNEA4), composed of experts on natural-resource use from the IRP, and practitioners on sustainable consumption and production from across the One Planet network. In 2021, the task group published its latest report on the value chain approach, evaluating its application to the Food, Construction and Textiles sector.



The UN Environment Programme works on Sustainable Consumption and Production through circularity and sound chemicals management in different sectors, including the textile sector.

An overview of the work, as well as supportive methodologies and approaches provided by UNEP's Economy Division to advance circularity in textile value chains is available here.

UNEP has been building an expert community (which comprises now over 400 experts from all the textile value chain) to establish synergies and update on its work and the activities from partners working in the sector. You can join the textile expert community here.


Roadmap for a circular and sustainable textile value chain

UNEP is also working on the development of a roadmap for a circular and sustainable textile value chain.

This roadmap will showcase to businesses, policymakers, financiers and the public the benefits of more circular ways of producing and consuming circular business models. It identifies key actions and opportunities for stakeholder to support delivery of a circular textiles industry, alongside the dependencies between stakeholders and the collaboration required to deliver transformation.

The roadmap is being built following the consultations in November 2020 with over 80 experts of the textile sector.