Let's make fashion circular
What if we could make a shift to circular fashion with no waste? We think there is no better moment to do this than right now. And we believe that you have the ideas to make it possible.
The annual Global Change Award takes on one of the biggest challenges facing today’s fashion industry – to create fashion for a growing population while protecting the planet. We are looking for early stage ideas that present new circular approaches aimed to reinvent the fashion industry.
This means changing the way garments are designed and produced, shipped, bought, used and recycled, by adding disruptive technology or new business models.
Circular economy and circular fashion
The world is already using approximately 1.6 planet’s worth of resources every year. There is an urgent opportunity to shift from “take-make-waste” production and consumption models to a model where resource loops are tightened and valuable materials are recovered.
A circular economy is an economic model designed to eliminate waste and restore valuable resources. In this model, material flows in a circle rather than in a straight line – it efficiently recirculates the raw material and valuable resources used to produce new goods. Shifting to a circular economy could be the biggest step to modernise global production and consumption since the Industrial Revolution 250 years ago. A circular economy aims to keep products, components, and materials at their highest utility and value at all times. Waste, as we know it, does not exist in the circular economy.
To become circular, the fashion industry must reinvent itself in how to design, what materials to use, how to dye, cut and sew, ship, sell, own, use and dispose fashion. New technology, business models and materials can make this possible. By transforming to a circular model, the fashion industry will be able to produce fashion for a growing world population while operating within the planetary boundaries and ensuring a long-term viable business. A shift towards circular fashion will also bring new benefits for the industry, like reduced material costs, access to new markets, improved customer relationships and reduced risks of resource exhaustion.
Circular models in the fashion industry
There are several ways to embrace circularity in the fashion industry. Below are five examples of circular models:
Circular supply chain
To develop and supply renewable and/or fully recyclable input material – making the input material more sustainable and resource efficient.
To drive up utilisation rate of products by creating possibilities for shared use, shared access or ownership.
To extend the life of textiles through repairs, maintenance, second hand, donations, etc.
Product as a service
To offer product access rather than ownership.
Recovery and Recycling
To recover useful resources from disposed products and put back into production.