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Circular Fashion For Dummies

Our Mother Earth is in dire need of our help, with pollution, waste, and climate change. There is only little time for us to alter our lifestyle for the better. The fashion industry itself represents 10% of humanity’s carbon emissions, where 85% of textiles go to the dump each year. Guess what? Circular fashion can help.

With clothing production doubling since 2000, sustainability has never been more important to the fashion industry. In recent years, there has been an explosion of continuous efforts to improve the sustainability and circularity of textiles.

Actions that can help to limit environmental impacts are pollution control, enhanced recycling practices and innovation around the reuse of existing materials.

The model on how a product is designed actually matters a lot – here’s where circular fashion comes in. The concept of circular fashion is based on the main principles of the circular economy and sustainable development.

The industry is exploring to fix the linear business model of the traditional “take, make, waste”. Instead, they are trying to promote a more closed-loop production where items can be reused, recycled and reduced.

Circular fashion changing the industry

The main goal for circular fashion is that the life cycle of products should not bring any socioeconomic or environmental harm. Where products should be designed in concern of the entire life cycle of a product. From design, sourcing, production, storage, marketing, sale, and when it reaches the user’s possession until its end of life.

These products should last in the eco-system for as long as possible and with no significant waste. In a scenario where the product is not suitable for recycling than the material should be biodegradable.

In another way, the products should be designed with high longevity, resource-efficient, non-toxic, biodegradable, recyclability, and good ethics in mind. It is also should further be resourced and produced with a priority given to the local, non-toxic, renewable, biodegradable and recyclable resources, with efficient, safe, and ethical practices.

Then, the products should be used for as long as possible, through good care, repair, refurbishment and sharing among multiple users over time (either that is through rent, secondhand, or other methods).

What can we do to support circular fashion

Luckily, brands are starting to implement this new circular model in their business. So, consider buying from these brands that produce more long-lasting pieces. Those that are either making them from recycled materials or providing services that extend the life of the garment. Let’s take a look at some brands that provide more eco-conscious wardrobe options.

  1. Luxury brand Stella McCartney has been very popular in the sustainability arena. They’ve been innovative in reusing materials and they also source sustainably.

  2. If you are more of a jeans and a t-shirt person, take a look at the brand MUD jeans. They design with longevity in mind. You can rent jeans instead of buying them. They can also recycle the jeans for you when it’s no longer in use.

  3. Looking for leisurewear? You can head to 377 brand, they use Earth-friendly materials and are looking to always improve their practices.

  4. If you are looking for a one stop shop, consider ARIELLE. They use eco-friendly and recycled fabrics to create their pieces. The brand has also introduced a new service to provide customers to resell their own products, supporting circular fashion.

Other tips

Other alternatives for you as a consumer to support circular fashion is to; buy less and buy better, shop second-hand where possible, to look after your clothes, consider renting when you are only going to use the piece once, and take the advantage of in-store recycling or repairing services. Or when in doubt, use the five R’s of Fashion: Reduce, Rewear, Recycle, Repair, Resell.

Circular fashion can contribute to a better environment. However, it needs everyone from businesses to consumers to support the change of a new circular model and a new vision of keeping the end in mind.


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