Circular fashion is a modern concept that goes parallel with sustainable movement. Circular fashion is adopted by major brands like H&M to reduce their waste and save the Earth from becoming a giant dump yard. As easy may it sound with its terminology, it is quite difficult to achieve circular fashion for any brand. It faces a lot of challenges too. In this article we are going to cover the circular fashion concept and its challenges. But first, let’s understand what circular fashion is.
What is Circular fashion?
As per motif.org, A circular fashion industry is defined as a regenerative system in which garments are circulated for as long as their maximum value is retained, and then returned safely to the biosphere when they are no longer of use.
In a circular model, products are designed and developed with the next use in mind. Less than 1% of clothing is recycled into new clothing. The best thing we can do is buy less and reuse more. If everyone bought just one used item instead of new this year, it would have a huge collective and positive impact on the planet.
The circular fashion converts the products of today to the fashion of tomorrow. What it means that for a fashion to be referred to as circular, it has to be (www.greenstrategy.se/en)
- Designed so that its sub-components can be disassembled or separated to facilitate repair, remake, reuse and recycle at the end of its use.
- Designed with high-quality materials with maximum durability, longevity in a timeless style.
- Designed in a custom made way to increase its value and appeal to the customer
- Produces keeping sustainability in mind and be ethical through its production stage without any abuse of available resources.
- Produced, transported and marketed using renewable energy wherever possible
- It can withstand more than one hand in its lifetime through swapping, borrowing, rental, redesign or second-hand service.
- It can be safely recycled without any further effect on the environment and society itself.
What are the principles of Circular Fashion?
As per Green Strategy, there are 16 principles to support and promote a more circular and sustainable fashion and textile industry. And they are:
- Design with a purpose
- Design for longevity
- Design for resource efficiency
- Design for biodegradability
- Design for recyclability
- Source and produce locally
- Source and produce without toxicity
- Source and produce with efficiency
- Source and produce with renewables
- Source and produce with good ethics
- Provide services to support longer life
- Reuse, recycle or compost all remains
- Collaborate well and widely
- Use, watch and repair with care
- Consider loan, rent, swap or redesign instead of buying new
- Buy quality as opposed to quantity
What are the Challenges of Circular Fashion?
Approaching this movement is highly difficult and there are a lot of challenges associated with adopting this. Some of them are:
- Lack of the right technology
In circular fashion, the clothes are transformed into fibers and then used for creating new materials. This process is highly complex and the right technology to do this at scale is currently not available. Due the infancy of this technology, processing the waste materials and turning them into individual and blend fibers are extremely difficult.
- Quality loss
With current technology, separating the fibre from the fabric has a significant influence on the fibre since fibres are also broken down into much smaller strands during crushing or separation. The fabric’s quality is impacted by this intern.
- Limitations in designing
This can take the shape of both fabric design and garment design. With rising demands for fashion trends, designers have switched increasingly toward creating designs that are substantially less valuable to customers over extremely short periods of time. The era of classic fashion, in which designs lasted for a long time and clothing had a longer shelf life than it does today, is long gone. Additionally, the design and construction of the fabric must be done in a way that makes the subsequent acquisition of the fibre as simple as feasible. This might be the key to discovering circular fashion’s hidden potential.
- Irresponsible buyer
Any clothing that a consumer or buyer purchases is for his personal use solely. A shift in mindset results in a sudden decrease in the value of the product to the consumer as a result of an increase in the number of products on the market. As a result, the life of the products in his possession is shortened as he looks for newer ones on the market. For them, disposing away the old products is a lot more practical alternative than considering their potential for reusing in another way or returning them to the proper channels.
The circular fashion movement is becoming popular around the world and brands are bending their knees towards their rising consumer demand for sustainable practices from their beloved brands. Even though there are some challenges in realizing the dream of a circular fashion industry, we are ahead in the right direction.
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