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- Kayla Poe
Fast fashion has been on the rise in the fashion industry; however, this causes issues. The fast fashion industry is responsible for a lot of waste and environmental issues . For example, the fast fashion industry uses 1.5 trillion litres of water every year. The industry also is responsible for one garbage truck of textile waste every second . Not everything is sold and is thrown out and consumers also quickly throw out the garments they purchase. The fashion industry has become one of the most polluting industries in the world. With the environmental issue on the rise, consumers are demanding for more circular fashion and slow fashion alternatives.
So what is Circular Fashion and what does slow fashion mean? Circular fashion according to Motif is a regenerative system where garments are circulated for as long as they can be to reach their maximum value, the garment is then retained and either recycled into new fabric or processed so the little waste produced can be safely returned to nature. When creating products to fit in the circular model it is important to consider the products ‘end-of-life’, which is the stage where the product can no longer be reused. When doing so, designers must consider two very important things, designing for longevity and material that allows textile recycling. Designing a product with longevity in mind will make sure products can be used and reused for as long as possible. Material cyclability consideration will ensure that when the products reach the end of their life, they can be regenerated into new resources.
As talked about before the pollution caused by the fast fashion industry has caused consumers to push companies to become more sustainable. But can fast fashion companies really become circular or sustainable. In short, the answer is yes and no, fast fashion companies cannot really become completely circular or sustainable, due to the nature of what they do. As so much product is being produced and wasted, the companies would have to completely rework their business model. Currently, companies like H&M are trying to become more sustainable by using recycled material rather than new raw material. H&M have also created the H&M foundation where they support innovations in the textile industry. For example, the H&M foundation has the goal that by 2030 the company will only use recycled or sustainably sourced materials. The group is also working closely with the UN to reach UN Sustainable Development Goals. Like stated before the only way for fast fashion companies to become completely sustainable they would have to no longer be fast fashion companies.
Benefits of the circular Fashion:
Limitations to the circular economy:
Even though this is the case, there are plenty of brands that participate or are moving toward a circular economy today. You can check our “Good on You” app for more comprehensive comparison of different sustainable brands and how they are tracking on their sustainability approach. :