Circular Fashion: Reducing Negative Impact, Maximizing Value

The fashion and textile industry has a major role to play when it comes to reevaluating our consumption cycles, reducing the use of toxic substances, and creating fair and healthy working environmentsAnd many have embraced the Circular Economy concept as a framework for sustainable industry practice, bringing the concept even closer to home with the coining of the term circular fashion.

What is circular fashion?

“Circular fashion can be defined as clothes, shoes or accessories that are designed, sourced, produced, used and handled with the intention to circulate safely in society for as long as possible in their most valuable form. Firstly, the products should be designed to enable high longevity, resource efficiency, non-toxicity, biodegradability, recyclability and good ethics. Secondly, they should be sourced and produced with priority given to local, non-toxic, renewable, biodegradable and recyclable resources, as well as efficient, safe and ethical practices. Thirdly, the products should be used for as long as possible, through good care, repair, refurbishment and sharing among multiple users over time (through rent/lease, secondhand, swap etc). Fourthly, the products should be redesigned to give the material and components new life. Lastly, the material and components should be recycled and reused for the manufacturing of new products. If unfit for recycling, the biological material should instead be composted to become nutrients for plants and other living organisms in the ecosystem. Overall, the life cycle of products should bring no environmental or socio-economic harm but instead contribute to positive development and well-being of humans, ecosystems and societies at large” (says Dr. Anna Brismar from Green Strategy and Circular Fashion).

A great source of inspiration and know-how for anyone working in this industry is circularfashion.com, a website backed by consultancy firm Green Strategy. Visit the website to learn about principles and best practices, keep up with related news, and to join international Circular Fashion Network— which inspires and facilitates dialogue and cooperation between its like-minded members.

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