Wasted Textiles

The primary objective of this project is to reduce the use of synthetic textiles and the amount that goes to waste.

Wasted Textiles is a collaborative project and the primary objective is to reduce the use of synthetic textiles and the amount that goes to waste. The project is led by Ingun Grimstad Klepp at SIFO/OsloMet and received funding of NOK 12,000,000 from the Research Council of Norway and Norwegian Retailers’ Environment Fund, out of a total budget of NOK 16,000,000.

The use of plastic has increased rapidly over the last 50 years and today synthetic textiles make up at least 60 percent of the global fibre production. Synthetics spreads microplastics and the textiles pollute nature and wildlife and are problematic in waste treatment. The project will increase knowledge about synthetic textiles in clothing and other products such as hygiene products, toys, sports equipment and more.

Wasted Textiles will start by mapping all textiles that go out of use in households. It is the textiles at this stage we refer to as “wasted”, and which can end up in many different waste streams, forgotten in storage or even lost in nature. From this point in the product’s life, we will look backwards and forwards in the value chain and ask:

  1. What do wasted textiles consist of, how and why is textile waste generated and how are textiles disposed of?
  2. How much textiles, especially synthetic, are wasted in Norway?
  3. How can consumption of synthetic textiles be minimised, replaced or utilised to reduce synthetic wasted textiles?
  4. What are the environmental, economic and societal impacts of circular economy strategies for consumption and disposal of synthetic textiles?
  5. Which regulatory measures can be implemented and be feasible in reducing the volume of synthetic textile waste?

The five questions each have their own work package. The work package leaders are Kirsi Laitala from SIFO/OsloMet, Frode Syversen from Mepex Consult, Kjersti Kviseth from Norwegian Fashion & Textile Agenda (NF&TA), and Susie Jahren and Moana Simas from SINTEF. Jens Måge from Avfall Norge leads the project’s steering group. Other important partners are Fretex, the Norwegian Consumer Council and the Future in Our Hands, Kerli Kant Hvass and Tone Tobiasson, as well as member companies in Avfall Norge and NF&TA and the Faculty of Technology, Art and Design at OsloMet. The project thus brings together the entire clothing sector in Norway: production, design, use and disposal.

Participants at SIFO

  • Ingun Grimstad Klepp
  • Kirsi Laitala
  • Anna Schytte Sigaard
  • Marie Hebrok
  • Nina Heidenstrøm
  • Vilde Haugrønning
  • Lisbeth Løvbak Berg


  • Faculty of Technology, Art and Design, OsloMet
  • Avfall Norge with member companies
  • Mepex Consult
  • Norwegian Fashion & Textile Agenda (NF&TA)
  • Fretex
  • Norwegian Consumer Council
  • Future in Our Hands
  • Tone Skårdal Tobiasson
  • Kerli Kant Hvass


Regulating Fast Fashion out of Fashion

Authors: Ingun Grimstad Klepp and Kerli Kant Hvass Abstract Among sustainable fashion and textile themes, product durability has recently come into focus within EU policy making. The dominant understanding is that increased textile lifespan will reduce environmental impacts, but this intrinsic link is not supported by research. The volume of clothing produced poses the greatest…

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The plastic elephant in the room: Who dares to talk about it?

In the Consumption Research Norway SIFO report The plastic elephant: Overproduction and synthetic fibers in sustainable textile strategies we examine national, international and corporate strategies for sustainable textiles to understand whether, and if so, how they include the problem of increased production volumes based on synthetic materials that can be referred to as the ‘plastic…

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Garbage talk: Easily outdated, but difficult to date

Text by Tone Skårdal Tobiasson The results from the Wasted Textiles pilot study, executed by four Master-students Camilla Sunde (UiO), Eva Hovda (NTNU), Siri Vestengen (NTNU) and Saeid Sheikhi (Høyskolen Kristiania) has now been published. Avfall Norge and their summer program REdu, were able to get the pilot financed by The Norwegian Retail Environmental Fund,…

Continue Reading Garbage talk: Easily outdated, but difficult to date