Fast fashion is a modern-day phenomenon. It follows a ‘take-make-dispose’ pattern, and enables fashion brands to mass-produce, mass-market, mass-sell. The linear ‘take-make-dispose’ model relies on large quantities of easily accessible resources and energy,
which is becoming more and more unfit for the reality in which it operates. An awakening was inevitable and there are positive signs complete with a new line – ‘circular fashion’.
“Circular fashion is a somewhat broader term than ‘sustainable fashion’, as circular fashion combines the principles of both sustainability and circularity,” says Dr Anna Brismar, who coined the term in 2014, and has worked with luxury resale destination Vestiaire
Collective to create a an easy-to-use consumer guide to the subject.
The goal of circular fashion is to ensure that clothes are made from safe and renewable material, new business models increase their use, and old clothes are turned into new. This would evolve the fashion industry to a future where every material is used
and reused safely, where ecosystems are protected and where people are provided with dignified work.
Everything sounds like the polished words of a new fashion editor but is circular fashion just another trend?
In May 2017, the Ellen MacArthur Foundation launched the Make Fashion Circular initiative. The main purpose being to foster collaboration among leaders of the textile industry, brands, innovators and stakeholders to move towards a circular fashion economy.
According to this initiative, the entire fashion industry needs to re-design its operating model. As the industry transforms into a circular system, it will be able to unlock various economic opportunities.
However, this transformation is not possible with a single brand or individual. To actually make fashion circular, businesses, governments, citizens, and innovators have to join forces. The Make Fashion Circular initiative has already brought many industry
leaders together including Inditex (owners of Zara, Massimo Dutti, Stradivarious, Pull and Bear), Adidas, Burberry, GAP, H&M, Nike, Stella McCartney and niche brands like Rapanui Clothing.
It would appear that a shift is afoot in the runway industry.
As Stella McCartney says, “The future of fashion is circular. It has to be.”
Reference: Harper's Bazaar / Elle / motif.org / The Straits Times