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Circular fashion supply chain through textile-to-textile recycling

Ida Marie Sandvik (Monash University, Melbourne, Australia)
Wendy Stubbs (Monash University, Melbourne, Australia)

Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management

ISSN: 1361-2026

Article publication date: 21 May 2019

Issue publication date: 9 August 2019




The purpose of this paper is to explore the drivers, inhibitors and enablers of creating a textile-to-textile recycling system in the Scandinavian fashion industry. It investigates the technology, innovation and systemic changes required to enable circular supply chains.


The research study uses a qualitative, interpretivist approach, drawing on in-depth semi-structured interviews with stakeholders in the Scandinavian fashion industry.


The main inhibitors to textile-to-textile recycling systems in the Scandinavian fashion industry are: limited technology which creates a challenge for separating materials; high costs of research and development and building the supporting logistics; complexity of supply chains including the multitude of stakeholders involved in product development. The enablers are design and use of new materials, increased garment collection and collaboration. This research suggests that sorting and recycling technology can be enhanced with the use of digital technologies, as this would create transparency, traceability and automatisation.

Research limitations/implications

The research is limited by a small sample size and lack of representation of all key stakeholder groups, which limits the ability to generalise these findings. However, as an exploratory study, the findings provide insights that can be further tested in other contexts.


Understanding of textile-to-textile recycling is emerging both theoretically and practically, however, there is still much that is not understood. This research contributes to furthering understanding of how technology, collaboration and systemic change in the fashion industry can support opportunities for textile-to-textile recycling, thereby aligning with circular economy principles.



Sandvik, I.M. and Stubbs, W. (2019), "Circular fashion supply chain through textile-to-textile recycling", Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management, Vol. 23 No. 3, pp. 366-381.



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