We hear a lot about the importance of circular economy, but there is also the buzzword “circular fashion”. What does this actually mean? How can we achieve it? Let’s dive into this topic as it is one of the main pillars of LiveRobe.
The term “circular fashion” is quite a new phrase, only became commonly used since 2014 in connection with sustainability concepts. Basically, it refers to a sustainable circulation of clothing and any fashion products. In contrast with our current linear economic model, which means that resources from the planet are used to make things which after a short period of time people throw away and these products end up in the landfills, polluting our environment for hundreds of years.
The whole model
Circular fashion means that the resources once extracted and used to make goods, are kept in circulation for as long as possible with the help of repairing, reselling, reusing, or recycling into new raw materials, which can be used instead of new resources.
When we are talking about making new things, the method resources are extracted and used needs to be done in a renewable, responsible way. Often this refers to monitoring water, energy usage, materials sustainability, and the whole impact on the environment while extracting and processing raw materials.
Another important part in the circular fashion system is the end-of-life of products. At the end of a product’s life cycle people just throw it away without considering if that material will biodegrade naturally or stick around on landfills for many years. In accordance with circular fashion a product when it can no longer be repaired, reused, redesigned or resold it needs to be disposed of in a responsible way, which will not have a harmful impact on our environment.
How to create circular fashion products?
First building a circular fashion industry would require designers, brands to create new things with consideration of how that particular item could be redesigned, reused, recycled in the future. Also designing out of waste, and limiting the use of blends, virgin raw materialswhich just require more and more resources while we already have so much waste waiting to be used.
Good quality products are also key, because our throw-away culture is based on the usual low-quality cheap goods, people started to buy since brands and companies want to sell more and more, so offering not so good quality and not long-lasting products became their tactic.
Biodegradable materials are the best choice as they make it possible for clothes to biodegrade or compost and the used materials can return this way to nature where they came from.
It is important to be aware that circular fashion is not just one particular action like an upcycled dress, or a second-hand coat, but all stages brought together will transform the industry into a circular one.