Sincere apologies to my regular readers for being absent for so long. I’m back and strive to be more consistent. We’re going to talk a lot more about sustainable fashion from now on The Fashion Lure. In today’s blog, as the title suggests, we will talk about Circular Fashion.
Let’s start, shall we?
Did you know?
“We dump 2.12 billion tons of waste every year. And if we put all this waste on trucks, they would go around the earth 24 times. We cause this amount of waste because we trash 99% of the stuff we buy within 6 months”, says theworldcounts.com.
This waste is estimated to grow by 70% by the year 2050 if we don’t intervene(via WorldBank).
You’d ask, well, so what about that? What does it have to do with fashion?
So, here are some fashion industry statistics you should know –
- The clothing and textile industry is the second largest polluter in the world.
- The fashion waste substitutes for approx 20% of the global waste.
- one kilogram of cotton requires 20,000 liters is the amount of water for production; equivalent to a single t-shirt and pair of jeans.
- Every year, one consumer throws away an average of 70 pounds/32 kgs of shoes and clothing.
I could go on with this, but I hope you get the point by now.
We have already talked about Slow Fashion, check the blog here.
Stick around to understand what circular fashion means, why it matters, and what can you do about it?
Have you ever wondered? How does a business function? What is a linear economy? What is a circular economy?
To make it easy, I will talk about the fashion business. Keep in mind that whatever applies here, applies to other business models as well.
Let’s dive right in.
What is a Linear Economy?
A linear economy is essentially the process of cultivating and mining natural resources, processing them into products, and distributing them to people who finally discard them after use.
This is called the ‘Take-Make-Dispose’ plan of a business.
What is a Circular Economy?
A circular economy is essentially closing all the cycles of raw materials. This method aims at the elimination of waste and the continual use of resources.
It uses the ‘Reduce-Reuse-Recycle’ plan of a business.
Why is a Circular economy better than a Linear economy?
A Circular economy aims at maximum usage of resources. It follows a cyclic pattern wherein products are repurposed/recycled at every stage of their lives. On the contrary, a linear economy focuses only on the delivery of products without its result at the end of the product cycle. This behavior is dangerous to the environment, as we only have limited natural resources.
What is its implication for Fashion?
A typical fashion business includes planning collection, designing process, sourcing and distribution of raw materials, manufacturing, production, redistribution, and sale. If you observe, this is a linear pattern or linear fashion model. The manufacturer is not concerned with what happens to a garment once it is sold to a customer. Therefore, the consumer throws away a piece of garment, when they are done with it. The raw materials like cotton, silk, petroleum for polyester, etc go to the landfill at the end of a linear fashion model.
On the other hand, in a CIRCULAR BUSINESS MODEL, after an initial linear pattern, the clothes are reused by consumers and retailers by various methods like rent, borrow, thrift, resell systems. If the garments get outdated or worn out, they are upcycled with the help of a tailor or a manufacturer. If the clothes are no longer usable, the consumer can recycle them. The fabric manufacturers adhering to the circular fashion model, take old used clothes and recycle fabrics to be sent for manufacturing again. The loop is closed at almost all stages of fashion as little to no waste ends up in the landfill.
Why do we need to encourage circular fashion?
60% of garments are now made of polyester (Kirchain, et al). Polyester fabric is made out of mineral oil extracted from the Earth. According to Ellen Mac Arthur Foundation, we use 342 million barrels of oil to produce plastic-based clothing. Mineral oil reserve is limited. Cotton uses a lot of freshwaters, which too, is a limited natural resource. If we do not reuse and recycle our clothes, we will lead ourselves towards a resourceless future. We have to maximize the life of the clothes that we already own. We have to constantly reuse what we have. There is no shame in repeating outfits or to use secondhand garments. We have to treat our waste as a resource because closing the loop is important.
Thank you for reading & I hope you enjoyed this article. Come back for more!
Let me know your thoughts in the comments section below. If you have any topics you want me to write about, please let me know them too. All suggestions are welcome.
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