Circularity and changed attitudes. Interdisciplinary teams of research programme Mistra Future Fashion are studying the possibilities of how to give the fashion industry a positive perspective. The latest “Policies supporting reuse, collective use and prolonged life-time of textiles” report focuses on supporting business models dedicated to the reuse, collective use and repair of clothing. In cooperation with PlanMiljo and IVL Swedish Environmental Research, the report looks at the economic, ecological and social effects of three easy to implement political instruments: knowledge hubs helping companies to transition to circular models as well as wage subsidies and start-up funds for companies determined to prolong the active life-time of textiles.
It is a fact that the longer a piece of clothing is actually in use, the smaller the effects of the product are on the environment. Today, companies using models like Take-Back and Re-sale, Sharing or Redesign still account for only a small part of the total market. For the report, large as well as small Swedish companies like Lindex, Nudie Jeans Co and Rent a Trend were interviewed. The participants unanimously agreed that the proposed measures improve costumers’ access to products and services in line with circularity and increase their social acceptance. On the other hand, the companies interviewed fear that wage subsidies introduced by sustainable companies will meet with resistance from conventional textile companies and lead to tension within the industry. Knowledge hubs and start-up funds are considered to be less controversial because companies will have to be proactive and provide resources.
All three instruments can contribute to a long-term change in the fashion industry. Considering that they are mutually compatible, they can facilitate clothing sharing, repairing and leasing business models not only on the Swedish textile market.
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