The textile and fashion industry is one of the largest industrial sectors, which uses a lot of resources and causes a lot of environmental problems. Hence, today, the emergence of the circular economy is a need rather than an alternative that would be good to adopt.
The circular fashion business is defined as a cycle of continuous improvement in which garments are circulated for as long as their highest value is kept, then judiciously released into the landfills when no longer in use. A circular economy in fashion aims to create a more sustainable and closed-loop system to extend the use time of garments and maintain the value of the products and materials as long as possible.
The fashion and textiles industry, as well as government leaders across the globe, are deeply focused on the circular economy concept as a means of minimising economic risks and negative environmental consequences.
The following are the four main advantages of circular fashion:
Enablers of Circular Economy
Because of their increased understanding of sustainability issues, consumers are becoming more interested in moving towards a circular economy. However, sustainability alone is insufficient to influence consumer purchasing behaviour. Increasing consumer awareness about long-term benefits is required. Information about how to quickly find choices for extending the life of a product, such as repairing it at the point of sale, and exchange services should be passed on to the customer.
The three key challenges of circular fashion include:
9 R’s of Circular Economy
The circular economy is governed by the 9Rs. These Rs define the major strategies to process textile and apparel in an eco-friendly way. Discover the 9R’s and the environmental change they can bring:
Refuse - Our consumption of clothing exceeds our demand. However, most of the clothes sit idle in the wardrobe. We can avoid this by refusing to have unnecessary and unsustainable products and encourage using solutions that maximise the usage of fewer goods. While shopping for apparel, refuse clothes that you will not be able to wear at least 30 times. Invest in pieces that can be worn through the seasons for many years and pick the clothes that you’re sure you will wear till they last.
Rethink - Every product and every system needs to be rethought with a focus on how to reduce its environmental impact. By investing in innovative projects and supporting rethinkers, we can move faster to an eco-driven society. Think of using the product more and more intensively by donating, sharing, and distributing.
Reduce - The fundamental idea of a circular economy is doing more with less. In order to achieve this, we need to embed the latest technologies in the manufacturing of apparel. Hemp, linen, bamboo, and ramie are a few examples of eco-friendly fibres. Brands need to prioritise the consumption of fewer natural resources and experiment with new-age eco-friendly fibres.
Reuse - Reusing your outfit can help you not only save the environment but also it will be lighter in your pocket. You can reuse your outfit by exchanging or swapping with friends or siblings. You can also consider purchasing clothes from thrift stores or consignment shops.
Repair - There is a natural tendency to dispose of ripped clothes or shoes instead of donating them. However, just a simple DIY can infuse a new life into the clothes. Buying new items appears to be easier than repairing old clothes. However, affordable repair options are also available in abundance in the market.
Refurbish - We all need to get over the habit of dumping clothing that is worn and torn. The art of restoring an old product to make it functional again while restoring its original look is called refurbishing. Enhancing the refurbishment of products can decrease the need for new materials, resulting in a reduction in waste and carbon emissions.
Remanufacture - Building a new product by using the good parts from discarded products is known as remanufacturing. It's high time for Earthians to develop the habit of using waste and create the best out of it. This will not only have positive externalities but also help brands use resources efficiently.
Repurpose - Repurposing a discarded product into a new one with a different function – is a growing trend. With repurposing, one can give a new life to discarded goods to regain their value and reduce their harmful effects on the environment.
Recycle - Textile recycling offers several environmental benefits, such as decreased landfill space considering synthetic fibres do not decompose and natural fibres may release greenhouse gases.
Steps That Companies Should Adopt
Clothes are a way for us to express ourselves on the outside. Therefore, the value of choice can not be disregarded. However, we should be more mindful about how many we absolutely need and also how they originate. A circular economy is an emerging phenomenon that will totally change the current system of fast fashion.
It can be summed up that the transformation towards circularity needs creativity, a new way of thinking and acting, new networks, large collaboration, and brave experimentation. The main aim of circular fashion is to ensure that the processing and consumption of products should not lead to socio-economic or environmental harm.
The fashion and textiles industry is a fast-growing complex system, and it urgently needs to take a planetary perspective.
If you want to inculcate the 9 Golden R’s of circularity in your business, reach out to Fashinza. We at Fashinza help clothing brands to manufacture their collections by connecting them with suppliers. We overlook the entire production process from design to delivery and get the clothes manufactured for you in a hassle-free, fast, and transparent manner.