The fashion circular economy starts to reshape the apparel industry, as products are designed and sold in a way for long use so that products have value for a longer time. A circular economy wasted fewer resources and did less damage to the environment.
On the other hand, the global economy runs largely with a Liner Economy. According to IGI global Liner Economy traditionally follows the “take make and dispose ” step-by-step plan. This means that the products weren’t made till the raw materials were collected. The Liner economy is known to be wasteful and damages the environment almost beyond measure.
As sustainable fashion becomes a movement in the world, there are many fashion brands that are planning to move towards a circular economy. As studies have shown circular fashion is embraced when brands try to transform the industry to limit the environmental impact. As they transform these brands will have to consider increasing their innovations, maximizing the reusability, and making large investments in their garments.
Here are some brands that are already embracing and dominating fashion up-cycling.
“Making the best product matters for saving the planet.” For decades the brand has been paving toward a more sustainable fashion future. Using the business to protect nature while building the best products is one of the core values Patagonia follows.
The brand also has a charity campaign ‘Worn Wear’ bringing out the idea that customers are allowed to trade their unwanted and preloved Patagonia in exchange for credits which will then be upcycled, repaired, and repurpose for sale.
In 2018, Patagonia has recycled 6797 pounds of products, and in 2019 they were able to completely ban solid plastic waste and scrap imports.
02. BEEN LONDON
BEEN London uses recycled waste materials including recycled leather and polyester, creating minimal and elegant bags.
The brand ethos has been very simple from the start, whereas most fashion brands start with the brand by creating a problem and later on giving a solution. BEEN London has finds an already existing environmental or social problem, and create a solution to it. As they say, quoted from their website ‘The solution is obvious: let’s get hold of what normally gets discarded and turn it into beautiful things that people will want to wear every day.’ Approximately 40% of the industrial waste is been created by the leather industry, BEEN London has been using these off-cut pieces of leather and uses fabric made out of recycled bottles to line the bags.
Recently the brand has collaborated with Chaos and started to create bags out of vegan recycled materials and artisanal hand-printed fabrics made from 100% organic cotton. They also created a limited edition collection which is crafted from our apple skin and silver Piñatex recycled leather.
Since 2018 in East London, BEEN London is an award-winning brand that has been making accessories entirely from recycled materials, which are also handmade. The brand has been making great strides in the circularity of fashion.
This slow fashion label known as OhSevenDays was established in Istanbul Turkey, the brand creates feminine, minimalist pieces using deadstock fabric from fast fashion manufacturers to produce its pieces. The idea of ‘slow fashion’ and want to contribute to the concept of ‘The Power of Circularity’ is what the brand promotes.
By using a limited production run and recyclable materials, the label limits the number of chemicals, water, and waste used in production. OhSevenDays uses eco-friendly materials including cotton, linen, viscose, and Tencel runoffs.
04. Stella McCartney
Stella McCartney is one of the luxury brands that is cradle to cradle certified. Quoting from the official Cradle to Cradle website says that ‘Cradle to Cradle Certified® is the global standard for products that are safe, circular and responsibly made.’ Many luxury brands rely on the Cradle to Cradle Certification to ensure the impact of their products on people and the planet.
Stella McCartney also collaborated with Adidas creating a gym wear collection where all the pieces are made from post-industrial and post-consumer waste like plastic bottles – empowering the highest-impact performance with the lowest impact on the planet.
The luxury brand is creating innovative ways to reuse materials, including recycled nylon and polyester, regenerated cashmere including sourcing viscose from sustainably managed forests in Sweden, and the use of GOTS certified organic cotton.
Ecoalf is a Spanish outdoor and streetwear label that turns ocean trash into raw material treasures. In 2015 the brand launched its project ‘upcycling the ocean’ where the brand worked with professional fishermen to collect waste from the ocean floors that are then turned into high-quality threads. Currently, the ECOALF Foundation collaborates with local partners starting in Spain in 2015, Thailand in 2017, Greece & Italy in 2020, and to carry out their mission. The brand now collects 4000 pounds of ocean waste per year and in total, the brand has recycled over 200 million plastic bottles to produce its garments!
Ecoalf repurposes waste such as fishing nets, old tires, and even coffee grounds and not only does the brand produce clothes, but it also undertakes research and education to push sustainable practices and innovations in recycling materials in the fashion industry.
The brand also collaborates with other projects in the fields of waste management, environmental awareness, or research and development with institutions with which it shares common values and objectives.