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Circular Fashion: How Brands are Reducing Waste and Saving the Planet

According to the United Nations, the fashion industry is one of the largest polluters globally, accounting for around 10% of global greenhouse gas emissions and 20% of global wastewater. In addition, it is estimated that around 92 million tons of textile waste are generated each year, with only a fraction of this waste being recycled or reused.

The idea of circular fashion aims to establish sustainability within the fashion industry by advocating for waste reduction and minimizing the environmental impact of clothing production and consumption. This approach prioritizes the reuse, repair, and recycling of materials, while also promoting the adoption of ethical and sustainable practices throughout the entire production process.

By thinking about how the product will be made, how it will be provided and used, and what will happen to it afterwards, designers can make sure the principles of a circular economy are taken into consideration from the outset - Ellen MacArthur Foundation

How Can Circular Design Help Reduce Global Greenhouse Gas Emissions?

Companies that incorporate circularity in their manufacturing processes can reduce emissions in every portion of their supply chains. While there are already brands making significant strides towards supply chain circularity, it's also important to note that achieving full circularity is a complex and ongoing process that requires strong efforts and collaboration from all stakeholders in the fashion industry.

Fashion Companies Can Reduce Their Carbon Footprint, Reduce Costs, and Achieve Circularity If They Start:

  1. Using renewable energy sources such as solar and wind power instead of fossil fuels to power manufacturing plants and buildings.

  2. Using recycled materials such as clothing made from recycled plastic bottles and old cotton textiles instead of sourcing new materials, such as oil-based polyester or farmed cotton.

  3. Using water-efficient manufacturing processes that reduce water usage and minimize water waste.

  4. Designing green buildings that can help regulate heating and cooling systems, leading to the reduction of energy consumption, costs, and greenhouse gas emissions.

  5. Using eco-friendly and innovative packaging Eco-friendly packaging can be made from recycled materials, biodegradable or compostable materials, or materials that are easily recycled. Some companies are also using innovative packaging designs that reduce the need for excess packaging, such as edible packaging or reusable containers.

  6. Using sustainable transportation options such as consolidating shipments, choosing shorter distances or more efficient transportation routes. Another option is to use rail or electric vehicles as modes of transportation, instead of trucking, shipping, and air cargo.

Circular Fashion Brands Around the World

Various well-known fashion brands have already implemented circular economy principles to their supply chains, while encouraging others to follow suit. Here are some examples of brands around the world trailblazing the movement for circular fashion:

  • Patagonia - This outdoor clothing brand has long been a leader in sustainable and ethical fashion. In addition to using recycled and organic materials in their products, Patagonia has a Worn Wear Program that encourages customers to repair and reuse their clothing, and also offers a trade-in program for old gear.

Source: Instagram

  • Eileen Fisher has a take-back program for their clothing, where customers can send back their old clothes to be resold or recycled. The brand also sources only organic materials and promotes fair labor practices with their partners abroad.

Source: Instagram

  • Stella McCartney is a pioneer in sustainable fashion, and has implemented circular strategies such as using recycled and organic materials, designing for longevity, and incorporating circular supply chain practices.

Source : Instagram

  • Levi's - has launched a program called Levi's SecondHand, which allows customers to buy and sell pre-owned Levi's clothing through their website. They have also partnered with resale platform thredUP to offer a wider range of secondhand options.

Source : Instagram

  • Nike - has launched a circular design guide for their products, which encourages designers to consider the entire lifecycle of a product and design for circularity from the outset.

Source : Instagram

  • Adidas - has developed a circular product program called Loop, which allows customers to return their used Adidas products to be recycled into new products.

Source : Instagram

  • H&M - has launched a circular fashion collection called "Conscious Collection", which uses recycled materials and incorporates circular design principles.

Source : Instagram

These brands are just a few examples of the innovative approaches to circular fashion that are being adopted around the world. They are not even close to closing the loop but they have shown progress.

And that is a positive thing! Wouldn’t you agree?

How Can You Become an Eco-Friendly Consumer & Promote a More Sustainable Future?

Becoming an eco-conscious consumer will help promote a more sustainable future for the planet. Here are few tips for how you can make more sustainable choices in your everyday life:

  1. Reduce Your Consumption: One of the simplest ways to become an eco-friendly consumer is to practice minimalism, buy second hand, and purchase from sustainable fashion brands. Consider whether you really need something before you buy it, and try to use what you already have instead of buying something new.

  2. Choose Sustainable Products: When you do need to purchase something, look for products that are made from sustainable materials, such as organic cotton or bamboo, or that are produced using sustainable manufacturing processes.

  3. Support Eco-Friendly Brands: Choose to buy from brands that have a strong commitment to sustainability and social responsibility. Look for brands that use sustainable materials, prioritize ethical production, and support environmental causes.

  4. Reduce Waste: Reducing waste is another key way to become a more eco-friendly consumer. Choose products with minimal packaging, bring your own reusable bags and containers, and avoid disposable products whenever possible.

By making small changes in our daily lives, we can all become more eco-friendly consumers and help promote a more sustainable future for the planet!

What are your thoughts on this?


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