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Transforming the fashion industry into a circular model: how are brands creating change?

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Transforming the fashion industry into a circular model: how are brands creating change?

It is no secret that environmental impact has become the priority for the fashion industry. While most of us know fast fashion and mass production are the key drivers of environmental issues (generating around 10% of global carbon dioxide emissions every year according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change ), consumers are still struggling to size the impact they have at an individual scale. Can you imagine buying 5 or 6 new t-shirts is equivalent to an average water footprint of 10-20 thousand liters?

The same way we don’t realize the negative impact our actions can have, we often forget the positive impact we can create, simply by giving clothing a second life for example.

So what if we’d just forget about fast fashion? What if for an entire year everybody bought pre loved clothes instead of new?
The environmental impact would be impressive. It was estimated we could save the equivalent of water need for all California for 14 years (13T gallons of water), the annual power consumption of 32 million homes (350 billion KwH of electricity) and 165 billion lbs of C02 or as if all the cars of LA were taken of the road for 4 years.

Naturally such a radical scenario isn’t realistic. Accordingly, how do we make a difference right now?
The fashion industry is complex, it involves a variety of chains going from raw materials to the disposal of clothes. Achieving sustainability will require bringing change at every step. However, some measures have already been taken, in efforts to close the loop and transform the fashion industry in a force for the good of our planet.

Starting at the beginning of the supply chain: the creation of textile. Here, innovation has already led to a scalable solution, recycling. It might seem like an obvious answer to the problem, but “up until now, the fashion industry has relied on growing more cotton, using more water, spraying more chemicals and pumping more oil to be able to lower prices and sell as much as possible. The modus operandi has been: bigger, faster, cheaper and more wasteful,” says Patrik Lundström, CEO of Sweden-based Renewcell. As of 2015, less than 1 percent of all garments are recycled back into clothes. To finally close that gap and democratize recycling, emerging brand Renewcell developed a technology to dissolve cotton and other fibres and transform them into biodegradable raw material called Circulose® pulp. The company recently entered a partnership with H&M group marking a great step forward in the shift towards circularity in the fashion industry. Other examples of businesses innovating in this space include Infinited Fiber and Worn Again.

Transforming the fashion industry into a circular model: how are brands creating change?

After manufacturing comes packaging. We have witnessed sustainable alternatives to carton boxes and plastic wraps emerge in large numbers in recent years. One of the biggest and most trusted eco friendly box providers is EcoEnclose. They offer anything from biodegradable cushioning to custom brand boxes with algae ink for a completely sustainable shipping experience! Alternatives are widely accessible: brands can choose from a number of businesses with unique offerings like fully compostable cornstarch mailing bags , polyester alternatives made from sugar cane, packaging sources from certified FSC environmentally managed forests, and many more. Even though these solutions may be pricier, the benefits are worth it. While reducing the amount of plastic in circulation which can take up from 15 up to a 1000 years to decompose, and reducing the carbon footprint, these solutions are also good for business! Research has shown 49% of consumers are willing to pay a little more for eco-friendly packaging.

Finally, at the end of the supply chain there are solutions aimed at extending the life of garments. These have the potential to reduce the amount of garments ending up in landfills while at the same time tackling the issue of overproduction. Emerging models like Reflaunt give brands the opportunity to offer resale services for items they no longer wear, so customers can reconcile their passion for fashion with environmental consciousness. Reflaunt’s technology facilitates circularity within the fashion industry, and enables consumers to unlock a return on investment of the pieces they owned while giving them a second life.

Moreover, the same way Reflaunt allows reselling on several marketplaces, the startup will soon be allowing customers to recycle their items through different solutions including the possibility of upcycling past garments with Yellow Octopus. The objective being to facilitate the upcycling of any garment they could not give a second life to.

These innovations give great hope for the future. We just need engagement and service adoption from all stakeholders of the fashion ecosystem. Eco-friendly alternatives do exist, and opinion leaders are supporting the change, creating momentum for us to act upon. As Stella McCartney put it, “The future of fashion is circular. It has to be.”

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Fashion

Video: Anne Barge SS22 collection

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Video: Anne Barge SS22 collection

In this video, fashion label Anne Barge has presented its SS22
collection at New York Bridal Fashion Week (NYFW).

Watch the video below.

Do you want to see more clothing collections? Click here to view the FashionUnited Marketplace.

Video: VRAI Magazine via YouTube

Photo credit: VRAI Magazine, YouTube

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Fila collaborates with Flock Together initiative on capsule

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Image: Fila x LN-CC x Flock Together
Image: Fila x LN-CC x Flock Together

Sportswear label Fila has unveiled a collaboration with birdwatching initiative Flock Together in the form of an apparel and footwear capsule, to be exclusively sold through LN-CC.

In a range of hike-wear gear made for urban exploring, the collection intends to bring people into nature and engage with their community. The selection includes a reinvented version of the Fila Trailblazer hiking shoe and two shearling fleece designs.

The colourways of the line are inspired by the Kingfisher bird, with a scannable near field communication (NFC) tag present in the hiking shoe that takes buyers to a dedicated page outlining the best places in the UK to spot a Kingfisher.

Image: Fila x LN-CC x Flock Together
Image: Fila x LN-CC x Flock Together

15 percent of all sales of the collection will go towards the Flock Together community fund.

Buying and creative director at LN-CC, Reece Crisp, expressed his enthusiasm over the collaboration in a release, stating: “We’re super excited for LN-CC to be part of this project.

“Flock Together encompasses everything that’s great about community and wellness, two driving forces that are integral to LN-CC too.

“Flock Together’s growth has been both a reaction to, and antidote from, a difficult eighteen months by bringing people together and encouraging outdoor consciousness, so we are honoured to share our platform in amplifying its much-needed positivity while working with Fila in creating this tribute to the Kingfisher.”

Flock Together, founded back in the 2020 covid-19 lockdowns, brings BIPOC together to engage in birdwatching and other nature-oriented activities.

It has previously partnered on an event with Timberland, hosting a range of spoken word presentations at the nature reserve, Woodbury Wetlands. Sponsored by the apparel label, the event aimed to promote the voices in its growing community adjacent to guiding guests through the nature reserve.

Image: Fila x LN-CC x Flock Together
Image: Fila x LN-CC x Flock Together
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Fashion

Video: Jenny Yoo SS22 collection

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Video: Jenny Yoo SS22 collection

In this video, fashion label Jenny Yoo has presented its SS22 collection
at New York Bridal Fashion Week (NYFW).

Watch the video below.

Do you want to see more clothing collections? Click here to view the FashionUnited Marketplace.

Video: Jenny Yoo via YouTube

Photo credit: Jenny Yoo, YouTube

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