Transitioning to be part of a circular economy

What is a circular economy model?

Today, most of the world works on a traditional ‘linear economy’ model as illustrated below.

Linear model

This means that raw materials and energy are used to make a product which is thrown away after use.

We want to change how we work so that where possible, we can keep materials in ‘circulation’ instead of in landfill. This means reducing the need for raw (natural) material inputs, preventing waste and reducing energy use by making products and materials more efficiently and reusing them.

Circular economy

This is going to be a transformative journey over many years for Target and we recognise we have much work to do. In the past financial year Target produced 84 million units of clothing.

Our success will rely on changing the way we work from design to sourcing products and working with others across our supply chain, government and industry to achieve a system change.

Key changes for us will include:

  • Designing our products with recycling, reuse or responsible disposal in mind
  • Increasing our use of recycled materials in products
  • • Working with suppliers to implement new systems for capturing and reusing post-production textile waste
  • Avoiding problematic materials that cannot be recycled
  • Implementing sustainable packaging across all products
  • Increasing customer access to product take-back for priority materials/products
  • Improving our engagement and education of customers to extend product life and increase recycling and responsible disposal at the end of product life.

One example of how we will collaborate with others to achieve scalable and long-term circular systems, is Target’s involvement in the Circular Fashion Partnership - a cross-sectorial project led by Global Fashion Agenda, with partners Reverse Resources, the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association, and P4G. Through the collaboration of global fashion brands, textile and garment manufacturers, and recyclers, the partnership aims to build a successful and scalable business model for capturing and reusing textile waste. By directing post-production textile waste back into the production of new fashion products there is opportunity to scale recycling capacity within Bangladesh and generate economic benefits from these waste streams.

Learn more about the Circular Fashion Partnership here.

When we use the term ‘own brand’ we mean the brands we own, which excludes the brands owned by other companies, such as licensed and international brands.

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