In an ideal world, used clothes would not end up in the bin once they reach the end of their life cycle, instead all the materials used in a piece of clothing would be recycled or upcycled. In this way, an old unloved item of clothing can get a second life as a new sustainable one. Resources are protected and used sensibly. A novelty in the circular fashion world has been set up shortly in a H&M store in Stockholm - the clothing recycling system Looop. Customers can use the machine to turn their old clothing into new fashion favourites. Looop cleans and shreds the fibres and spins them into new yarn, which, in the end, will be used to produce new clothing. Customers can book time slots and produce new clothing from their old clothes for approx. 15 euros. "We are constantly exploring new technology and innovations to help transform the fashion industry. It is important to reduce the dependency on virgin resources and Looop shows our customers that old textiles are valuable,” says Pascal Brun, head of sustainability at H&M.
At Neonyt, the global hub for fashion, sustainability and innovation, circular fashion has long been an issue. It was at one of the trade show’s former Thinkatons, where thought leaders from various sectors team up to take up a design thinking challenge in less than 48 hours. In 2018, Hugo Boss set the task to develop a circular service model for high-end fashion. The result was a circular wardrobe app aimed to make customers aware of the money their clothing costs, the impact it has on the environment and to which extend it can be recycled. During a Thinkaton at Neonyt in 2019, Otto Group wanted a solution to make the concept of circularity more attractive to customers. Participants in the Thinkaton developed a system that rewards customers for buying sustainable products and includes a platform offering helpful tips and tricks concerning recycling, upcycling and repairs. In a master class at Neonyt in January, circular.fashion presented the circularity.ID. Clothes have labels with a QR code that makes the entire production process of a customer’s clothing item transparent. The code also provides the industry with an overview of the correct use of textiles.
Whether it is at a trade show, at retail or in contact with the customer, the significance of circularity is growing. Resources can be used in a more effective way and the amount of textile waste can be reduced. To achieve this, a rethink is needed across the entire supply chain. The time has come for both brands and retailers to address the issue. Because breaking old habits can lead to a change in the whole industry.
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