From a linear to circular economy

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Let’s talk fashion!

Hi everyone!

Since Paris fashion week just concluded a few days ago, I thought I’d talk little about two brands that have heavily involved Circular Economy into their company’s process.

DITTO! (Viktor & Rolf Spring 2019 Couture Collection, Photo: Imaxtree)

First off, I would like to talk about PatagoniaMany of us may have seen an increase in popularity in this brand, especially around teenagers. Well, Patagonia is more than just a ‘trendy’ brand!

Patagonia’s circular business model seeks to extend the life of clothing items, especially after a user is unable to continue wearing their product. Patagonia has recycling bins globally, where they collect used Patagonia garments. Thereafter, they have different strategies surrounding the repair and reuse of their garments. This includes repairing of jackets which dogs have bitten into (Source), donations to organisations such as disaster relief groups and upcycling into new products! (Source)

Some jackets returned for repairs are even up to 50 years old! (Tim Davis/Patagonia)

Another brand that may not be as well-known but is definitely worth a mention is Rapanui. Rapanui is a clothing company from the Isle of Wight, England. First off, the designs on the t-shirts are made-to-order. No, this is not like some freshly made burgers or fancy haute couture. Rather, the clever people at Rapanui developed a platform which will only print t-shirt designs once an order has been placed from a customer. (Source)

An employee feeding blank t-shirts into the machine fixed with the platform (Source)

More importantly, similar to Patagonia, if you decide not to wear your clothing item anymore, you can return it to the store and you will get some store credit back while they will manufacture new products with the returned material. Through this model, the cycle repeats over and over again!

Pssst… if you are a budding fashion designer or want to start your own clothing company, Rapanui’s ‘made-to-print’ is accessible to everyone and the system is free. Sharing is really caring! (Source)

I am really glad that more and more companies are exploring the circular business model, especially since it does not seem that people will be cutting down their fashion consumption anytime soon (sadly, I have to admit that‘people’ also includes me).  Before I conclude today’s post, if you are interested in fashion, I would like to encourage you to head on over to my friend, Evelyn’s, blog, where she explores sustainable fashion in greater detail.

Cheers

Victoria

2 Comments

  1. Hi Victoria!

    Thanks again for the mention!
    Even though I support Rapanui, I never knew so much about them until I read your post. It was such an interesting read- I didn’t know that the co-founders made their own robots from scratch! I guess this brand is a lot cooler than I thought it was.
    Now that I recall, Rapanui even cared to mention the farmers involved in producing their organic cotton, which I think is a great move in transparency.
    About Patagonia, I thought you might be interested in looking at how it was rated in the Fashion Transparency Index: https://issuu.com/fashionrevolution/docs/fashion_transparency_index_2019
    (Patagonia appears on pages 32, 34, 38, 46, 51, 58, 64 and gets special mention under “Spotlight Issues-Implications” on page 71)
    Also, I hope that fashion brands do more to not only circularise their economies, but also look into other areas of sustainability such as workers’ welfare and paying fair wages.
    You may also be interested in reading about a textile recycling technology called “Content Thread”, which I wrote about in my second last post on recycling. You can find out more about it in this video: https://youtu.be/p-YumS8blpA , as well as in this link to their website: https://www.connect-fashion.com/

    Cheers,
    Evelyn 🙂

    • e0411228

      October 6, 2019 at 2:24 pm

      Hey Evelyn,

      No problem about the shout-out 😉

      I agree that it is important to keep in mind the worker’s conditions, especially their wages and working environment. Some of the articles and videos I have read about their conditions are truly pitiful.

      Thanks for the information about Patagonia and textile recycling. Eco-fashion truly is a growing industry and I am glad to see more initiatives and technology regarding garments, especially seeing how fast-fashion has such negative impacts on our environment! The Fashion Transparency Index was a really interesting read and I appreciate how they covered so many aspects and were so explicit about each brand’s rating. I personally like Adidas so I am glad it is up there in the ratings! 🙂

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