A multi-year, revolutionary endeavour, which will consider the UK’s net zero ambitions


Findings from the foundation phase of developing Circular Fashion Ecosystems in UK cities

The BFC has commissioned the Circle Economy to partner on a foundation phase to establish a blueprint for a scalable approach for implementing the CFE vision in cities across the UK, by integrating Doughnut Economics principles. By applying circular economy strategies to optimise the use of resources and design out waste, the vision is for these ecosystems to operate in a way that gives both people and the planet the ability to thrive. The ambition is to kick-start a phased innovation journey for the fashion sector for all major UK cities. This initial phase will create a replicable framework, based on the two major cities London and Leeds.

"The Institute of Positive Fashion is leading a Sustainable Fashion Programme for industrial change through the vision for a Circular Fashion Ecosystem throughout the UK. The pathway to change starts with practical pilots at city level, initially in Leeds and London. This piece of research is the first step in mapping what already exists. It also seeks to understand the opportunity for pre-competitive collaboration, to establish a methodology to co-ordinate and accelerate activity from infrastructure to policy labs, which will enable all stakeholders to constructively engage and play their part in positive change. The foundation of the methodology is the implementation of the Institute of Positive Fashion’s (IPF) Circular Fashion Ecosystem target state model, through the lens of Kate Raworth’s Doughnut Economics model. This will enable a roadmap for change that will benefit both the planet and people, meeting the government’s Levelling Up agenda and creating thriving city-level circular fashion ecosystems throughout the UK, meeting the needs of industry. The IPF and the British Fashion Council is committed to accelerating industrial change to meet both the climate targets of the Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Action1 and to future proof the UK fashion industry."
Caroline Rush CBE
Chief Executive, British Fashion Council
"The vision of the Doughnut is to meet the needs of all people within the means of the living planet. So what does it mean for the future of the fashion industry? Can fashion become a regenerative and distributive industry by design? What systemic changes - within businesses, within industry ecosystems, and within the wider economy - are needed to make it possible? This pioneering initiative is providing crucial leadership by exploring these questions, learning through practice from what’s already happening in Leeds and London, and drawing out insights and actions that will help spur the ambitious changes needed across the UK and beyond."
Kate Raworth, 
Author of Doughnut Economics, co-Founder, Doughnut Economics Action Lab



1. Building a Circular Fashion Ecosystem is crucial to incite and scale grassroots action, co-create circular solutions, and bring together multinational fashion players and SMEs through this network.
2. The methodology and model should be agile to be replicable as each city has a different focus and a way in which it operates.
3. Collaborative and cross-sectorial research is needed to drive innovation investment and fully grasp the potential of Circular Fashion Ecosystems. It will drive long-lasting changes in consumer behaviour and policy.
circle economyipf.       bfc