SwitchMed is launching a new publication focusing on the different strategies to help achieve a transition to circular economy in the south Mediterranean textile and fashion industry. This publication, which is the result of a collaboration between SCP/RAC and the BCSD Turkey, enables a comprehensive analysis of the replicability of the different business models presented in the document.

Published on Tuesday 03 November 2020· NETWORKING FACILITY

The fashion industry is one of the most important sectors in the south Mediterranean. However, its current business model, fast fashion that “takes, makes and wastes”, is also a source of ecological stress for the region, generating environmental hotspots like water scarcity, water and air pollution and material waste.

In light of these developments, the global textile industry has made efforts to become more sustainable. The potential for circularity in textiles was recently highlighted in the European Commission’s new Circular Economy Action Plan, which mandates extended producer responsibility in the industry and sets requirements for using secondary raw materials and managing hazardous chemicals. In the private sector, businesses have launched platforms and collaborations in order to reach circularity targets such as implementing recycling technologies and increasing the use of sustainably produced fibers.

At the southern Mediterranean scale, the textile industry is feeling pressure from these recent trends. Enabling a transition to a circular economy can help the industry adapt.

The “Circular business opportunities in the south Mediterranean: how can businesses lead the way to sustainable fashion?” publication, which was made possible thanks to a collaboration between the Regional Activity Centre for Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP/RAC) and the Business Council for Sustainable Development Turkey (BCSD Turkey) under the SwitchMed programme, describes five different strategies that would help achieve that transition in the textile industry, namely:

– Prevent pollution and save resources
– Recover resources after disposal
– Extend resource use and reduce disposal during the use and maintenance phases
– Increase resource utilization rate
– Shift to circular supplies and renewable resources

For each of these strategies, the publication details different business models, established as alternatives to the current fast-fashion model of take-use-waste and providing an analysis of the challenges, barriers, drivers and opportunities. This information enables analysing the replicability of a business model from both a business and consumer’s perspective.

The publication was made with the aim to support entrepreneurs and SMEs in solving their circular challenges through open innovation activities as well as provide capacity building and access to financing and markets for green entrepreneurs.

To discover those businesses and how they are leading the way to sustainable fashion, download the publication here:

Circular business opportunities in the south Mediterranean: how can businesses lead the way to sustainable fashion?


SwitchMed is very grateful for the support received in producing this publication. The programme would like to express its special thanks to the businesses that have contributed by providing information on their business models and also to the industrial and sectorial associations, companies, and experts for sharing their expertise and invaluable perspectives.

Worldwide, the fashion industry is the second-largest industrial polluter after aviation, accounting for up to 10% of global pollution.

Each strategy details a number of business models, offered as alternatives to the current fast-fashion model of take-use-waste, and whether a given business model is specifically suitable to the southern Mediterranean region is subject to certain drivers and barriers.