What about circular fashion? A term you will hear more and more. Is it just about recycling clothes or does it mean more? We will explain to you, give some examples and make it clear to everyone. Hope you will get inspired!
Get rid of waste!
The cheaper the clothing (think of large retail store with cheap clothing), the bigger the waste of raw materials. That's a fact and clear to everyone. The fashion industry has become a throwaway industry. The clothing is so cheap, it has such a poor quality, it will almost 'disappear' after a few washes. This is because mixes of fabrics are used which are as cheap as possible and because the clothing is produced as cheaply as possible. Think of fast, bad seams, think of cheap finishing (or lack off) and think especially of closures in the form of zippers, buttons, etc. bad and poor quality.
Nice and cheap
Of course it is nice if you can buy cheap clothes and most of us often buy them because of budgetary reasons. Why would you buy pants for 90 euros, when you can also buy them for 19.95 euros? We all love 'fast fashion' as much as we love 'fast food'. Fast, easy and cheap. And if it's so cheap... why not buy two servings of junk food or two pants instead of one, right away? Fast-fashion industry is based on over-consumption. We not only want cheaper, but also more. We buy more than we need.
Circular economy action plan
But the waste and the major consequences of this on the environment, more and more people do not like it anymore and take action. The European Commission launched the European Green Deal with a Circular Economy action plan that mainly concerns the textile industry. There will have to be a transition to a circular fashion and textile industry that prevents waste of raw materials. On a global level and as permanent change. It's about time...
Sustainable lifestyle = chic
Circular fashion is a term that has a lot to do with just second-hand and recycled fashion but it is a lot more. It is not something to be ashamed of, as a fashion house or employees in the textile industry, but we all should be proud of it. More and more big-names fashion labels are participating and that's great! The corona crisis has also accelerated this process because it was difficult to obtain raw materials and because we stayed at home en masse and put on our 'home-wear'. These are garments that are easier to make from recycled fabrics. And we have discovered we do not need an overload of clothes and 'things' to be happy.
H&M recently introduced a LOOOP system in Sweden where old or unused clothing is shredded and pulverized and made into fibers without the use of water and chemicals. These fibers are mixed with other fibers and can be used for new clothing.
Apart from all environmental aspects, there is also a more social system linked to fair working conditions for employees in the entire textile production chain. And there is a great emphasis on respect for craftsmanship. For the first time in ages, crafts are respected and appreciated by consumers.
Let's go circling!
Circular actually means nothing more than that a garment is made in a special way; after use (or non-use) it returns into the circle of production to get another life. A kind of 'upcyling', but on a larger level. A garment will never really come to the end of its life, because it can be used to make something different from the raw materials. This can be done in the way LOOOP: completely pulverized, but it is also possible because the garment has a timeless appearance and is quickly transformed into something new with simpler adjustments.
Like this: "If you wait long enough, fashion will always come back" ..., but more actively.
Recycling, upcycling and circular fashion
It all has to do with each other, but it mainly means that garments no longer disappear into the waste bin. At the beginning of the process, more thought is given to the raw materials, the production process and especially the lifespan of the clothing. The fact that clothes are often thrown away is actually very strange. After all, it also contains a lot of things that can be reused anyway. Think of zippers, buttons, decorations. We already wrote about this in 'Start your own haberdashery collection'.
Do it yourself!
Some tips for getting involved in circular fashion:
Don't throw anything away! Sell, borrow, exchange, give or recycle as much textiles as possible. What is worthless to one person can be of great value to another. Even if an old, worn-out T-shirt ends up in a dog basket -> the dog (yours or someone else's) is happy with it again. Even more creative: cut it into strips and braid it into a toy. How simple can it be?
Circular fashion is all about the production process, from the first step to the last, the environment, the lifespan of clothing and the social aspects are taken into account, to avoid wasting (raw) materials.
You can also participate yourself. Make your own clothing, but especially when buying, think about the type of fabric, the lifespan of clothing and whether you want to go for fast-fashion or sustainable clothing.
We are ABSOLUTELY participating. You too? Ideas, suggestions, opinions and especially examples are more than welcome.