14 Jun Circular Economy in Fashion – How the Two Worlds Can Collide!
In our previous article we detailed out the Circular Economy in China !
To give you a quick recap, Circular Economy is an economic model based on finding alternative methods for countries to manage their non-renewable resources and raw materials. It’s essentially based on the concept of reduce, reuse and recycle.
But, Circular Economy is a concept that can also be utilized by developing countries for progress and shared globalization with China’s aid. Different industries can benefit from this, one of them being the Fashion industry.
Off late, the fashion industry has been undergoing ocean’s of changes in terms of sourcing and production methods. Sustainability and ethical practices has been the need of the hour in the industry.
Although the millennial generation and Generation Z claims to be more conscious and advocate sustainable products, a study has shown that in reality they splurge extensively on lucrative booming fast brands and fast fashion, hence it seems that with this generation, price and speed beat conscience.
根据艾伦·麦克阿瑟基金会（Ellen McArthur Foundation）和BOF（时尚商业）年度聚会中关于时尚如何迎接循环经济中的讨论，其强调到2050年，纺织经济可能释放超过2000万吨塑料微型纤维。
Hence, the key points that the fashion industry should adhere to when it integrates circular economy are as below :
● Customers are everything but that doesn’t make them leaders of giving direction to brands based on their consumption habits. Many consumers value quality, price and novelty etc, they however do not take ethical practises into consideration. The change and lead of direction needs to come from the brand and industry.
● The confusion surrounding sustainability is paramount. Brands and the fashion industry still needs to advocate and highlight the reasons and need for sustainability and spread more awareness, make the consumers more conscious.
● 围绕着可持续发展的疑惑很关键。 品牌和时尚行业仍然需要倡导和强调坚持可持续发展的理由和需求，并且让更多的人提高意识，使得消费者更有意识。
● Redefining many concepts in the industry – the concept of consumption is one of them. If consumption patterns change, eventually so will the root causes of overuse.
● Circular Economy is a win in terms of meeting customer demands, promoting sustainability and creating job opportunities. But in the fashion industry, there would be anxiety over the credibility of actualising the creation of employment opportunities with implementation of circular economy.
● Often, a path to make the start as a whole system is often the hardest challenge. In such situations and when in doubt, collaborations are a key factor. Transparency with consumers and industry peers are essential as not everyone has the willingness to understand or be ethical.
It has been estimated that the number of times a garment is worn in a lifetime has fallen by 36%.
This has contributed to landfills filling up with USD 460 billions of discarded value which is a huge loss of materials and energy.
There are many fashion startups or rental apps like the Y closet based in Beijing, China, that help you select a garment for an occasion, with a monthly subscription. With different plans and schemes which helps in promoting the reduce and reuse value for clothes, their business runs on strategic and technology partnerships with brands like Acne studios, Kenzo and Alibaba.
有许多像是Y Closet这样位于中国北京的时尚租赁公司和软件，能够帮助你为特殊场合选取衣服，你只需要每月订阅。该公司有着很多不同的计划来帮助减少和重新利用衣服，同时和Acne Studio、Kenzo和阿里巴巴等公司有着战略和技术上的合作。
What do you think is the best way forward for fashion in terms of circular economy? This seems to be a major development for the future consumers.