The call for Circular Fashion to rise

Updated: Nov 3, 2020

The concept ‘circular fashion’ is defined by Anna Brisma and is based on the main principles of circular economy and sustainable development. Circular fashion is founded on the concept that waste and pollution are designed out, products and materials are kept in use for as long as possible, reusing and recycling, and where natural systems are regenerated. This does relate to fast apparel, luxury apparel, sportswear or outdoor wear, shoes, and accessories. They are all part of circular fashion. The reason why we should develop circular fashion is due to the fact that the textile industry shares a global carbon budget that will rise from 2% in 2015 to 26% by 2050 if we continue on the current path. Moving away from this linear and wasteful system is crucial to control the 2ºC global warming limit set by the Paris Agreement on climate change. Circular fashion is one of the steps we can take to change.

Brands release now a day 52 micro-collections per year instead of the old 2 seasons. On average, consumers only wear the garments 7 times before tossing it away. That means that brands and fashion houses produce 400% more clothes than 20 years ago. A Greenpeace study for the detox campaign has identified 11 chemicals frequently used to make our clothes. That means that in our clothes we can find toxins, carcinogens, and hormone disruptors. These chemicals can be found in the urine of consumers and in the water, we drink, shower, and cook with. Not only are these chemicals harmful to human beings, over and above that it also affects plants, animals, and the environment.

Considering the whole process and the impact of consumers, the fashion industry is the second-largest polluter in the world right after the oil industry. The environmental damages are increasing as the industry grows. More than three-quarters of the plastic used in clothing ends up in landfills or incinerated in 2015 according to New Textiles Economy. Moreover, less than 1% of the materials used to produce clothing is recycled into new clothing. This equals a loss of more than $100 billion of materials a year. Furthermore, 20% of industrial water pollution globally is attributable to the dyeing and treatment of textiles. Wastewater contains toxic substances such as lead, mercury, and arsenic among many others.

That is the reason why circular fashion was introduced back in 2014. To support circular fashion, various infrastructures, collaboration, and new business models should be set up. Change the process within design practices and customer services. The aim is to maximize the life span and durability of clothes, bags, and accessories by introducing support repair, redesign, and recycling services. A new hype is offering customers the possibility to rent/lease clothes instead of buying. Moreover, providing products on-demand, custom-made, and/or tailor-made. Now, the fashion industry can save 400% of the carbon emissions that are released when making garments. Consumers, brands, and fashion houses should work together to create a better world while loving, consuming, and expressing yourself.

Fashion is about change which is necessary to keep life interesting. The mirror of society is fashion. It is a way of measuring a mood that can be useful in many aspects, culturally, socially, and even psychologically.

Circular fashion is all about creativity and being open for innovations, ideas, and needed to control the 2ºC global warming limit set by the Paris Agreement of climate change


Green Strategy. (n.d.-a). Key principles of circular fashion. Retrieved October 5, 2020, from

Green Strategy. (n.d.). Origin and definition of circular fashion. Retrieved October 5, 2020, from

Sustainyourstyle. (n.d.). Fashion & Environment. Retrieved October 5, 2020, from

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