Circular Fashion Trends – In a 2016 report, NRDC named the apparel industry as “one of the biggest polluters on the planet”. This report and many more indicate that environmental and social issues associated with fashion are reaching a critical point. As a consequence, reducing the amount of waste in the consumption and production of garments is the biggest challenge for the future of the industry.
Many experts believe that these challenges are the direct result of fast-changing fashion trends.
By nature, we have an appetite for new things according to our deep evolutionary roots. Our desire to change enables us to adapt to the new environments and has played a crucial role in our survival.
Fast fashion is a successful business model in fulfilling such desires to change. It allows brands to increase the availability of cheap products with a low-cost structure and distribute multiple seasonal collections.
What Is Circular Fashion?
‘Circular Fashion’ is the application of ‘Circular Economy’ within the fashion industry. A concept that suggests the use of a circular economic system instead of the traditional linear model (extract – make – use – dispose).
In simple words, ‘Circular Economy’ is a system in which unwanted products (or fashion wastes in this case) contribute to the production of other products. The implications of this economic model prolong the use of resources by recovering products at the end of their lifespan.
This is not an alien concept at all. In fact, nature has been using this model all the time, when a plant feeds an animal and the carcass nurture the soil.
Today, more and more fashion brands are adopting this method as a solution to the existing environmental challenges. However, according to The Ellen MacArthur Foundation, whose mission is to accelerate the transition of a circular economy, the successful exercise of such approach relies on developing system-wide innovative methods. One such approach is focusing on the development of sustainable fibres composed of reused or recycled materials.
What does Circular Fashion mean for consumers?
Of course, consumers play a crucial role in this trend as well as manufacturers and decision makers. Adopting sustainable and recycled garments, buying more durable items, taking care of purchased clothes, reuse, and recycling are some of the possibilities for consumers to ease the transition of a circular economy.
However, despite consumers’ high level of awareness and interest in eco-friendly lifestyle, the sales of sustainable fashion products are lagging behind.
The solution to bridging this gap lies in understanding the factors influencing consumers’ decision making and involvement in buying recycled and sustainable garments, as well as their recycling practices.