KEY SYNERGY TOPICS
- CONSUMER EMPOWERMENT
- CIRCULAR AND SHARING BUSINESS MODELS
- POST-USE ECOSYSTEM
- SORTATION AND RECYCLING
- POLICY AND REGULATION
To maximise utilisation and help reduce demand for new physical clothing, designers and manufacturers must create items for circularity, using recycled, recyclable, and renewable inputs, and minimising material use throughout the process. At present, clothing design and creation is far from where it needs to be to maximise value and minimise negative social and environmental impacts. A mindset change is needed across the industry and circular design must become standard practice.
Designing to minimise material use and waste, and using recycled and recyclable materials, represent fundamental first steps. A solid starting point for minimising material use and waste is through embracing digital garments, zero-waste and on-demand manufacturing, the use of post-production offcuts, and digital use in design and sample creation. The overarching focus should be to create garments that have multiple lives. A focus on emotional and physical durability will ensure that garments are suitable for reuse and repair. Garments must also be designed so that they can be easily disassembled and recycled when they can no longer be worn. This mindset and practice shift is crucial, as design is the starting point to the fashion value chain with many critical links across the ecosystem. For example, designing for disassembly and recyclability will enable expansion of recycling infrastructure, as the increase in supply of quality feedstock improves commercial viability of recycling.