How circular fashion can greatly improve the planet and fashion industry
We live in an age where the fashion industry essentially runs a lot of the world, dressing celebrities, royals, and everyday people – fashion is the thing that connects us all. But what if fashion is also damaging the planet?
No matter which way we look at it, fashion is a huge part of each of our lives. Supply and demand has made fashion a conveyer belt of making clothes to supply to people, only for them to be discarded as waste when they are no longer needed. This in itself is creating a huge problem for the planet we live on.
However, there seems to be a solution that has arisen over the past couple of years. Something that could save both the fashion industry and our planet while keeping up with demand.
Circular fashion, as a definition, is
“Designed, sourced, produced and provided with the intention to be used and circulate responsibly and effectively in society for as long as possible in their most valuable form, and hereafter return safely to the biosphere when no longer of human use.”Dr Anna Brismar
Despite its complex meaning, it is actually a lot simpler. Essentially, circular fashion is the creation of clothes, usually made from sustainable materials, that are then sold to the public to wear. Before the clothes come to the end of their life, they are then recycled into material to create more fashion and the cycle continues.
Cutting down the amount of waste created from fashion means the planet can grow healthier. The clothes can be worn and reused while the fashion industry survives on keeping up with the supply and demand from buyers.
Changing the way we promote Circular Fashion
Back in 2015 adidas partnered with Parley for the Oceans to create a sneaker that was made entirely out of recycled materials – yarn and illegal deep-sea gill nets – found by Parley for the Oceans. This partnership was a huge step in the right direction for adidas to promote sustainable fashion. More brands in the past few years have been changing their approach by rethinking textiles for the circular economy.
The amount of recyclable materials being used as part of circular fashion has vastly improved. The variation of different materials brands are using have allowed brands to be unique in their approach to circular fashion. Hugo Boss back in April 2018 used pineapple leaves to make shoes with a leather look and feel. They mimicked leather by texturing the leaves, the shoes were limited edition and were Hugo Boss’ first step into the circular fashion movement.
“Waste = a misplaced word”
The advancements in Circular Fashion
Continuing circular fashion will include a collective effort from both consumer and seller. By not only being able to buy more sustainable fashion, but consumers will also be able to promote sustainability. To unlock the door to a more sustainable future, the engagement of the consumer is key. This change is appealing to people because it allows them to choose for themselves, something all consumers will appreciate.
The advancements in sustainability and using recycled materials have come a long way. There are many innovative techniques now used to improve sustainability such as using plastics to turn into thread with a cotton-like texture. Footwear companies have used old tires to create soles on their shoes. Even just re-sewing old clothes into something new greatly promotes the circular fashion industry.
Circular Fashion in a circular economy
With the circular economies aim being to eliminate waste, reuse and recycle, the fashion industry has a huge part to play in this. Because everyone is always wanting the next new thing, companies need to make the new thing sustainable. It is down to us and suppliers and consumers to promote the circular economy and circular fashion. We’ve come a long way and with the progress continuing at a great pace, circular economy paired with circular fashion should become the new norm.
To help the planet means to work at it the best we can, being sustainable is one of the ways we can do this. Fashion may connect us all but it is also damaging the world at the same time. It’s time to make a change and step in the right direction and promoting sustainable fashion and the circular economy is the right way to go. After all, fashion makes the world go round.