Circular logistics in the textile industry

Sorting through hundreds of tons of clothing in an abandoned factory
Sorting through hundreds of tons of clothing in an abandoned factory for a social mission called Clothing the Loop. Photo by Francois Le Nguyen on Unsplash

As one of the most polluting industries in the world, the transition from linear to circular economy is vital for the textile and fashion industry. If such a transition is to be successfully carried out, improved knowledge on how to organise and execute efficient and effective logistics operations throughout a circular ecosystem of stakeholders is required. Therefore, the purpose of the project is to explore the role of logistics in a circular textile ecosystem.

The project is based on a collaborative, interactive research approach between researchers from Linköping University (LiU), Swedish School of Textiles (THS), and the global fashion retailer H&M. H&M here offers an interesting, information rich case as one of the major global players in the textile industry, with ambitions, power and position to play the role as an “orchestrator” of logistics resources and capabilities present in the circular ecosystem.

Organised into four work packages, the project sets out to (1) map H&M’s extended circular ecosystem in terms of stakeholders as well as material flows, (2) explore how logistics resources are orchestrated, (3) categorise the values created by these resources, and (4) develop practitioner-oriented guidelines for the future logistics resource orchestration. Overall, this study emphasizes the role of logistics at a systemic, ecosystem level, which has so far gained little attention in contrast to e.g. recycling technologies or
circular business models.

Brief facts

Projekt title

Exploring the role of logistics in the circular textile ecosystem

Project time and budget

  • 2021-12-01 — 2024-11-30
  • 5 051 100 SEK

Project partners

Researchers in this project

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Project financier