Circular Fashion is born as an alternative to mass consumption of clothes. It is based on what is called 'circular economy', focused on keeping materials and products in use, regenerating natural systems, with a zero-waste and no-pollution mentality, as seen in the Ellen Mac Arthur Foundation (www.ellenmacarthurfoundation.org)
In the last 15 years the production of clothes has increased considerably due to the fast fashion industry pace, launching a new collection every two weeks and creating garments at very low prices. The big problem here is that this methodology leads to a mass consumption, where people buy for the sake of keeping up with the trends or just because of the appealing prices offered by this industry. Most of these pieces of clothing are worn an average of seven to ten times before they get discarded. Many of them never get worn and they directly go into waste. All these clothes end up in landfill and, unfortunately, the majority are made with synthetic or blended fibres, which makes it impossible to recycle or biodegrade, becoming a massive threat to the environment, with a catastrophic end in a few years.
What can be done to avoid this disaster? A new approach to fashion economy. An alternative to the current linear fashion system. A cycle where restoration and regeneration coexist, where garments can re-enter the economy process, avoiding going to waste. To achieve this, the clothes must be of high quality, durable and timeless. Natural fibres should be used so, once the garment is not of use any more, it can be recycled to create something new. These fibres are also biodegradable, they are environmentally friendly.
Renewable energy should be used in every step of the production line and a real cost of the garment should be provided, from paying a fair wage to the farmer who grows the cotton to the seamstress or tailor who sews it.
But circular fashion is not just a matter of businesses, it is also a matter that individuals should take into account. What can I do to improve this circularity process? It is very simple. When I look after my clothes and treat them with care, they are likely to last for a long period of time. This, and the quality of the garment can make it last a lifetime.
There are other actions I can take to contribute to circular economy, such as rent some of the trendy garments that come out every season, swap clothes I am not using any more or resell them. This way, clothing is maintained in this continuous cycle.
Circular Fashion is about changing my mindset. Swapping from 'buy - use - discard' to 'reduce - reuse -recycle'.