Exploring policy instrument to extend the lifetime of a garment

There are many opportunities for business models that derive value via extending the active life of a garment either via the same user, or consecutive users. Therefore businesses have arisen in the past few years attempting to extend the lifetime of a garment through for example leasing or re-design. However, these businesses face a range of economic, legal and capacity obstacles that they need to overcome if they are to expand from niche to mainstream. Government can assist businesses in overcoming these obstacles through adoption of policy instruments. In this report ten potential instruments for overcoming these obstacles were selected from a wider pool and evaluated. Some of the instruments would require regulation changes; others are economic or information-based.

The results showed that there is no key action that would both have a major impact while being relatively easy to implement. However, the stakeholders found the following instruments most favorable:

• Reduced VAT for reuse, sharing, second-hand, repair, leasing
• Support for second-hand in central shipping malls
• Start-up transition funding and government-supported knowledge hubs
• Wage subsidies targeted at these models

All these instruments can be carried out at national or local level in Sweden, rather than being implemented at EU level. Moreover, there is strong level of synergy and compatibility between the instruments. As a package deal they could provide considerable support to business models aiming at extending the lifetime of garments.

The study was made by David Watson and Naja Charlotte Gylling at PlanMiljø and Philip Thörn at IVL.

Read full report here:  Business models extending active lifetime of a garment