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Circular Fashion: Restyling Fashion For a Better Future

by | Oct 19, 2022 | Sustainability

We all know the planet is in crisis. We’re surrounded by consumerism where people just keep buying and throwing new things away, especially garments. We keep buying new shirts and pants when most of them are just sitting in our closets.

As many people are probably aware, around one-third of the clothing produced worldwide ends up in landfills. Waste in the fashion industry is on a massive scale. It is estimated that less than 1% of recycled textiles are converted into wearable fabrics.

To make matters worst, by the end of 2022 there will be 8 billion people on the planet and each one of them will need something to wear. And an even greater challenge is that we are running out of raw materials.

The raw material and natural resources need to produce clothes are depleting and are unable to replenish due to the rate at which we are extracting them. And to make matters even worst the planet is under the pressure of climate change.

Fashion is one of the most polluting industries in the world where each year millions of tonnes of garments are produced, worn, and thrown away unsustainably. A lot of resources are needed to make a single piece of clothing, it is worn a couple of times before ending up in landfills.

The fashion industry is a major contributor to climate change and we can’t produce enough natural raw materials to clothe the planet. So we need to use what we already have in circulation.

Hence, fashion needs to become circular. We need to redesign the way clothes are made, used, and disposed of. Circular fashion is an approach that has been growing in popularity. So what exactly is circular fashion?

What is circular fashion?

Circular fashion is a term used to describe a closed-loop system in the clothing industry where garments are designed, manufactured, and sold with the intention to be reused or recycled back into the system. It also includes the upcycling of materials and products.

Fashion circularity is described as a sustainable way of designing, producing, and consuming clothing. It takes into account the entire lifecycle of a garment, from the sourcing of materials to the end of its useful life, to minimize waste and environmental impact.

Fashion circularity is a way of dressing that promotes sustainability and economic equality. It is a global movement that uses a variety of approaches to create clothes that are made for use, not for disposal.

Importance of circular fashion

The garment industry has been identified as one of the most polluting industries, due to the use of harmful chemicals and processes. Moreover, the industry is plagued with a more harmful calamity called fast fashion.

Fast fashion is an approach where garments are produced quickly and cheaply. This is good for consumers because it means they can buy clothes more often, and it is also good for the clothing industry because they can sell more and make more profits.

But fast fashion has a lot of negative consequences. It is turning people into passive consumers where one day a design is trendy, the next day it’s not. And it is constantly fooling people that buying more clothes will make them happy.

We are under the threat of global warming and it is estimated that the global fashion industry is responsible for around 10% of global greenhouse gas emissions. Moreover, it is estimated that it takes 3,781 liters of water to make a pair of jeans equating to an equivalent of 33.4 kg of carbon emitted.

The industry emits more GHG emissions than the aviation and maritime shipping industry combined. On top of that, it is expected that garment junk will account for more than 134 million tonnes a year by the end of the decade.  

It is estimated that globally 150 billion pieces of garments are produced annually. Brands released new designs and collections every 2 to 3 weeks. Yet three out of five items or 60% end up in landfills every year.

Nowadays, trendy clothes become outdated very fast and they are quickly removed from sales and the inventories that haven’t been able to dispatch go to waste. It is estimated that nearly 35% of all brand-new garments end up in incinerators within a year of being made.

The clothing industry uses people’s insecurities to force them to believe that it is impolite to repeat garments. They can easily make you believe that clothes, apparel, and shoes make you a winner. Brand bombards you with discounts to force you to buy in excess.

Brands also use heavy marketing campaigns backed by celebrities to make you buy more expensive products. There are thousands of articles and videos on fashion daily. There is a dress code for every event and influencers are pushing their followers to follow their trends.

It is estimated that the production of apparel and footwear will rise by 63% by 2030. Moreover, online shopping is booming and the online apparel market is expected to be worth over USD 941 billion by 2028.

Furthermore, the fashion industry consumes 93 billion cubic meters of water annually. It is also estimated that 20% of worldwide water pollution comes from dyeing and textile treatment. The world is faced with a water crisis.

It takes 2700 liters of water to make a single T-shirt. It takes 10 000 liters of water to make 1kg of cotton, enough to make only one t-shirt and a pair of jeans. What’s worst is that usually factories don’t pay for the water and the cost is not added to the products to maintain the price low.

And to keep prices even lower, companies choose the cheapest fabrics usually polyester and outsource the job to poor and developing countries where there are fewer restrictions and cheap labor. Moreover, it is estimated that non-recycled clothes and materials represent a global loss of USD 460 billion.

These are just a few numbers of how the garment industry is destructive. With the rising population and increasing demand for more clothing, something has to change. We need to make a change. Our clothes need to reflect the changes we are making. This is why we need circular fashion.

Why do we need circular fashion?

With the increasing popularity of sustainable fashion, more and more people are becoming aware of the benefits of using clothes in a circular economy. The circular economy is a way of managing the economy that seeks to recycle and reuse materials instead of simply producing more of them.

The concept of circular economy is based on the idea that by creating a loop where fabrics are continually used and recycled, we can not only lower our environmental impact but also create jobs and help reduce our reliance on foreign resources.

The clothing industry is considered one of the most polluting industries. A lot of clothes are made from synthetic fabrics that release harmful chemicals when worn or discarded. This can lead to environmental problems like water pollution, air pollution, and even climate change.

The circular fashion economy is an approach to solving these problems. It involves recycling and reusing products instead of simply discarding them. This help lessens our dependence on finite resources and helps us preserve our environment.

There are several ways that the circular economy can be applied to the fashion industry. For instance, sustainable fashion is an approach to use materials and manufacturing processes that are environmentally friendly and reduce or reuse waste throughout the process.

When it comes to materials, sustainable fashion advocates for using environmentally friendly fabrics. They also advocate the use of renewable resources that are used over and over again as well as using recycled fabrics whenever possible.

We need circular economy fashion because it is a closed-loop system that keeps clothing and other textiles in use for as long as possible. It diminishes waste and pollution and prolongs the life of our clothes. It also supports local economies and jobs and helps to build a more sustainable future for everyone.

For example, clothing can be made from materials that are biodegradable or compostable, so that they are broken down and reused multiple times. Similarly, fabrics used in the manufacturing process can be reused or recycled, minimizing the need for new materials to be produced in the first place.

The fashion industry can also lower its environmental impact by implementing design features that reduce waste. For example, using less fabric can lessen the amount of scraps that are created. And designing products that are easily repurposed can help decrease the amount of waste that is created.

More and more people are aware of the harmful effects of the clothing industry on the environment, and design circularity is a way to lower those effects. By using recycled fabrics, ethical brands are helping to reduce the amount of waste that is produced.

Moreover, in the traditional garment industry, clothes are made to fit a certain body type and are often tight or constricting. With circular fashion, designers are able to create looser-fit clothes that are more comfortable to wear.

According to Ellen MacArthur Foundation, the circular fashion industry can open ups an economic opportunity of USD 560 billion. There are a few reasons why circular fashion is important:

  • It helps to reduce waste in the fashion industry
  • It helps to create jobs and support local economies
  • It helps to promote sustainable practices within the fashion industry
  • It helps to raise awareness about the importance of sustainability among consumers

The use of sustainable fabrics and the use of recycled or upcycled materials could help to reduce the impact of garments on the environment. However, this approach alone will not be enough to completely offset the impact of fashion on the environment.

Everybody will have to contribute to the effort to reduce the impact of fashion on the environment. Circular fashion is a movement that is taking over the world. It is a trend that is focused on nature and the cycle of life.

How to make fashion circular?

Circular fashion is achieved by creating clothing and accessories that can be worn over and over again without wearing them out. This can be done through careful design and construction, using high-quality materials, and offering repair and alteration services.

By creating long-lasting products, we can reduce the environmental impact of garment manufacturing and avoid the waste associated with fast fashion.  There are several ways this can be achieved such as:

Design with circularity in mind

Today, the clothing industry is under pressure as consumers are becoming more aware of the ethical and environmental impact of their clothing choices. As a result, sustainable design in circular fashion is becoming an important trend in the industry.

Sustainable design allows clothing to be worn for longer periods and decreases the amount of waste produced. Circular design is a system where garments are designed to be worn multiple times and then repaired or recycled instead of being thrown away.

Design circularity is a term used to describe a closed-loop system in which clothes are designed to be reused, repaired, or recycled instead of thrown away. This approach to garments reduces waste, conserves resources, and is better for the environment.

Produce sustainably

Many clothing companies are beginning to produce outfits sustainably with circularity in mind. This means that the clothes are made from sustainable materials that can be reused or recycled. The goal is to lower the environmental impact of the clothing industry.

The way garments are produced has a major impact on the environment. To sustainably produce clothes, the producer needs to consider the entire lifecycle of a garment. This includes the growing of natural fibers, the manufacturing process, the use of the garment, and finally, what happens to it when it’s no longer wanted.

By producing garments sustainably in a circular approach, consumers can reduce the amount of waste that ends up in landfills, and ultimately, help to preserve the planet for future generations.

Keep in use for longer

The average lifespan of a piece of clothing is 3 years before it is discarded. If everyone lengthened the lifespan of their clothes by just 9 additional months, it would reduce the carbon, water, and waste footprints of the textile industry by 20-30%.

Extending the life of our outfits is not only better for the environment, but also for our wallets. Clothes are often an afterthought in our daily lives, but they can have a huge impact on the environment.

Recycle easily back into raw inputs

With the goal of producing clothes that are easily recycled, manufacturers are beginning to design garments with an eye toward sustainability. By using natural fibers and dyes, as well as avoiding synthetic materials, manufacturers are creating products that are not only environmentally friendly but also biodegradable.

In addition, they are paying close attention to the construction of their garments, ensuring that they can be easily taken apart and reused. As more and more consumers become aware of the benefits of circular fashion, this trend will likely continue to grow.

Garments that are easily recycled are produced using sustainable fabrics that can be reused or recycled. These clothes are designed to last longer and be worn more often, so they use less resources and generate less garbage.

Rental clothing

Rental clothing is becoming popular as a way to get access to designer labels and the latest trends without having to buy them. Consumers can rent outfits for a special occasion or a day or two, and then return them when they’re done.

This way, they don’t have to worry about storage or keeping up with the latest trends. Plus, it’s a great way to save money and prevent clothes to be worn a couple of times or just for an occasion before being thrown away.

Peer-to-peer lending

Circular fashion is also about peer-to-peer relationships. That means that people can borrow and lend clothes to each other without having to go through a store. This is a great way to get new or occasional outfits without having to spend any money.

Ethical disposal

Circularity in fashion is about the ethical disposal of waste and designing products and systems that minimize scraps and maximize resource efficiency. It also takes a holistic view of the clothing fabrication system, from raw material extraction to garment production, use and care, and end-of-life disposal.


Upcycling is an important part of circular fashion, and it doesn’t have to be limited to recycled materials. Consumers can upcycle just about anything into something new and useful, and it’s a great way to reduce waste and help the environment.

Upcycling as it is one of the simplest and most effective ways to reduce waste and help prevent pollution. It also helps to preserve natural resources.

Principles of circular fashion

Circular fashion is all about being mindful of the entire life cycle of a garment. By starting with the design process, producers can make sure that their collections are environmentally friendly and sustainable.

They also strive to use natural dyes and materials whenever possible and to create clothes that are comfortable and flattering. The idea is not new but it has only recently started to be taken seriously by the fashion industry.

Circularity in fashion is more than just reducing waste and keeping resources in use for as long as possible, there are also principle governing this approach such as:

Keep clothes in use for longer

Clothes can last for years if they are properly cared for. This will help avoid the need to replace them as often and save money. It’s important to take care of clothes so they last as long as possible and look good.

Use renewables and safe materials

Renewables are important in garments because they are a sustainable option. They help conserve resources and protect the environment. One example of how renewables can be used in clothing is by using environmentally friendly materials.

When sustainable fabrics are used in garments, it helps create a more sustainable fashion industry. Another renewable solution is using recycled materials. For example, recycled materials can be used to create clothes that are durable and comfortable.

When it comes to textiles that are used in fashion, there are a few that are important to use with caution, especially fabrics. Fabric can be made from a variety of different materials, and some of them can be harmful.

Turn used clothes into new ones

There is no doubt that clothes can be reused and recycled to create new ones. There are a number of ways in which it can be turned into new ones. One way is to donate them to a charity and there are also a number of companies that recycle garments.

Stop linear approach

In our increasingly technological and globalized world, the economy is increasingly becoming a linear one. This is where everything is done in a sequential way, where each step is necessary in order to move forward. This type of economy is important because it allows for efficiency and control.

However, this way of life is becoming less and less sustainable. We are quickly reaching a point where we can’t keep going the way we are. We need to start considering alternatives to the linear economy and start moving towards a more circular one.

A more circular approach to design means that we think more in cycles. We start with an idea or concept and then explore it in more depth. We then take what we’ve learned and create a design based on that. This approach is more flexible and allows for a more creative process.

Sustainable production

There is no doubt that sustainable production is important in fashion. The industry is constantly evolving and changing, and companies must be responsible in their production practices. Fashion is a big business, and companies must be doing their part to help the environment.

Sustainable production practices help protect the environment. They reduce energy use, waste production, and pollution. When it comes to sustainable production, the keyword is circular.

For example, when producing a product or service, the producer is not only responsible for the negative impact it has on the environment, but also responsible for the positive impact it has on the environment. This means that they have to think about the entire cycle, from production to consumption, to create a more sustainable system.

Use non-toxic materials

Many products are now made with non-toxic materials. Some of these materials include recycled, natural, and biodegradable fabrics.

Recycled materials are fabrics that have been used before and have been cleaned up. Natural materials are found in nature. Biodegradable are fabrics that can be broken down into smaller pieces by nature and then eliminated.

There are a number of reasons why using non-toxic materials is important in garment manufacturing. For one, it can help to lower the amount of toxins that are released into the environment. Additionally, it can help to ensure that the clothing that is made is safe for people to wear.

Focus on local resources

One of the most important aspects of sustainability in fashion is the focus on local resources. By sourcing materials and products from local vendors, designers are helping to lower the environmental impact of their work as well as reducing transportation.

When materials are sourced locally, it decreases the amount of energy and resources that need to be used to transport objects. Additionally, it reduces the amount of water and CO2 that is required to produce the materials. By using local resources, designers are also supporting the local economy.

Products need to be recyclable

There is growing awareness of the importance of recycling clothes. Recycling outfits in circular fashion not only help the environment but also reduces the amount of clothing that goes to landfills.

Recycling garments also save money. And producing recyclable outfits means not just throwing away clothes that can be reused, but also thinking of the entire garment and its potential life beyond the individual pieces.

When it comes to personal use, people can recycle clothing by donating it to a charity or a local clothing collection point. This way, the clothing is not just used once and then thrown away but is instead given a second life.

Products need to be biodegradable

Environmental concerns are driving the use of biodegradable products in circular fashion. When clothes are disposed of in landfills, they contribute to environmental pollution. By using biodegradable products, consumers can help reduce the amount of emissions coming from landfills.

For example, many pieces of clothes are made from polyester, which takes years to break down. When these plastics are used, they potentially end up in the environment and pollute waterways.

Biodegradable plastics are made from natural materials, such as plants or dairy products, which break down in a shorter time frame and be less harmful to the environment.

Design for longevity

Design has always been an important aspect of fashion and has been used to showcase a person’s personality and style. Over the years, the use of design has become more important as it has been proven to be a key factor in the longevity of apparel.

Good design is often timeless and can be worn for many different occasions. This makes it a popular choice for those who want to look their best no matter what the occasion. Moreover, good design is often well-made and durable, which makes it a popular choice for those who want to wear their clothes for a long period.

The benefits of the circular fashion economy are clear. Brands and designers must start to adopt these practices to protect the environment and create a sustainable garment cycle. The aim of circularity is to create clothing that is both stylish and comfortable, and that can be worn with any outfit.

Objectives of circular fashion

There are many reasons why people might want to adopt circular fashion. Reducing waste is one of the most important elements because it helps to reduce our impact on the environment.

In the past, fashion was a linear process. It was made by designers, bought by consumers, and then discarded. This linear process is not sustainable for our planet. Today, we need to think about sustainability from the start of the production cycle to the end of it.

By using fabrics that have been recycled or upcycled, circular fashion can help reduce the amount of waste that is created. Additionally, by focusing on sustainable practices, it can help protect the environment.

In a world where we are continuously consuming, it is important to think about what we are buying and how it will be disposed of. The main objective of circular fashion is to reuse or recycle as many materials as possible to make the industry more sustainable.

Companies need to rethink their production process from start to finish. This includes changing how they make products so that they can be reused or recycled at the end of their life-cycle as well as changing how they package their products so that they can be reused or recycled after purchase.

There are many goals that people have when it comes to circularity. One of the goals is to reduce the environmental impact of clothing. Another goal is to make sure that there are enough resources for everyone in the world and that we don’t use up all of them.

The way we produce clothes today is not sustainable and circular fashion can fix this problem by making sure that our resources never run out and by making sure we only use what we need.

Benefits of circular fashion

Circular fashion is a trend that intends to help reduce the impact of clothing production on the environment in both the short term and the long term because it provides a lot of advantages over traditional garment manufacturing approaches. These advantages are:

Produce less waste

There is no doubt that clothing production is a major driver of waste. From discarded garments to rejected materials, the industry is responsible for a lot of trash. And while many of us may not be able to change the way they operate, we can all do our part to lower our own personal waste.

One way to do this is by adopting a circular fashion mindset. When you think about your clothing decisions, ask yourself whether you could reuse or recycle the item. It is a trend that is growing in popularity. It reduces waste by creating less in the first place.

Less need and use of new material

Looking to reduce the material extraction footprint? Circular fashion may be the answer as it focuses on using less virgin materials. Circularity is a sustainable, waste-free way to produce clothing and accessories as it focuses on extending the lifespan of clothes and upcycling.

Less pollution from waste

The amount of trash produced annually is increasing each year. The colossal amount of garbage we are producing is creating a major environmental crisis. The fashion industry is notorious for creating a lot of waste.

From outfits that are never worn to garments that are given away after a season, a lot of clothes end up in landfills. And, although recycling has decreased the amount of waste produced, it’s not enough.

One way to reduce the amount of pollution created from waste is to go circular. Circular fashion encourages people to buy secondhand clothes, buy casual outfits or extend the lifespan of existing ones.

Another way to lower this pollution is to reduce the amount of waste that is produced in the first place. Circular fashion is a way of designing clothes that uses less fabric which decreases the amount of scraps that is produced.

Promote sustainability

Circular fashion is a growing trend that promotes sustainability. By using circular methods of production, designers can reduce waste and create products that are more environmentally friendly.

Fashion circular is based on the idea that by repurposing resources, we can create products that are reusable and more sustainable. For example, a piece of clothing may be made from multiple layers of fabric that can be recycled and reused.

This reduces the amount of waste that is created and helps to protect the environment. There is no doubt that circular fashion is more sustainable than traditional clothing approaches.

Pollution can be decreased

By upcycling clothes and using biodegradable materials, people are making a statement about the importance of reducing pollution. Wear clothes that are made from natural fibers. These fabrics are less likely to produce pollution than synthetic ones.

Circular fashion is a trend that is decreasing pollution by encouraging people to buy secondhand clothes can also help reduce pollution. The trend has been gaining popularity in recent years as a way to decrease pollution.

Help save water

Circular fashion is a sustainable way to reduce water consumption. By limiting the number of products that are made in a wasteful way, it is possible to lower the amount of water used in the manufacturing process.

Many materials used in clothing are not biodegradable thus creating a lot of pollution. By using recycled or sustainable fabrics, it is possible to reduce the amount of waste created thus preventing the pollution of water.

Clothes last longer

Circular clothing is a way of life that encourages people to think about the clothing they are wearing and how it can positively affect their environment. Circularity in fashion is all about recycling clothes and using them again and again.

Clothing made from recycled materials is one way that circular fashion can have a positive impact on the environment. By using recycled fabrics, clothing manufacturers are not only reducing the amount of waste that is produced but also giving a second life to clothes.


Circular fashion is an emerging trend that is focused on ecology. The goal of this trend is to create clothing that is not only stylish but also environmentally friendly. By doing so it promotes sustainable practices which can improve a brand image.

Tackle fast fashion

The current clothing industry is built on fast fashion, where garments are produced in large quantities and then quickly sold. Hence, it is important to be mindful of the impact that this has on the environment.

The term “fast fashion” is often used to describe the high-volume, low-quality clothing that’s popular in today’s society. Many people believe that this style of clothing is bad for the environment and is only meant for short-term use.

Hence, the growing movement of circular fashion focuses on creating clothing in a sustainable manner, and well design that will last longer.

Improve brand reputation

Circular fashion has been increasing in popularity due to its environmental benefits. The practice focuses on creating clothes that use less material and produce less waste which ultimately boosts a brand’s reputation because it is seen as more sustainable and ethical.

There is no denying that the popularity of circular economy fashion is on the rise. This trend has been seen in both high-end and low-end fashion, and it seems to be having a positive impact on brand reputation.

Future of circular fashion

In the future, circular fashion will become more popular. People will start to see the benefits of thinking circularly, especially with the pressing effects of climate change. There are many reasons why this approach is better than the traditional one.

For one, sustainable clothes are more comfortable. They are made of softer materials, so they are less restrictive and more comfortable to wear. They also tend to be more elastic and flexible, so they are easier to move in and look more natural.

Another reason why circular clothes are becoming more popular is that they are more sustainable. Traditional garments are made from materials that can be dangerous for the environment. They can also take a lot of energy to produce, and this energy is often wasted.

Sustainable clothes, on the other hand, are made from environmentally friendly materials. They can be recycled and reused, and they don’t require as much energy to produce. This is especially important in a world where our resources are dwindling fast.

There is a lot of buzz surrounding circular fashion at the moment. People are starting to see the potential in this type of clothing and are beginning to experiment with it more as it focuses more on minimalism and simplicity.

According to Statista, the global economic value of circular business model by 2030 for:

  • Resales will account for USD 476 billion
  • Rental will account for USD 167 billion
  • Repair will account for USD 32 billion
  • Remarking will account for USD 16 billion

It is also estimated that the fashion circular economy could be worth USD 5 trillion. It is becoming a new trend in the clothing industry. Commitment to circular sustainable fashion is increasing and varies.

Today companies are offering different kinds of fashion such as organic, ethical, vegan, sustainable, recycled, and eco-friendly fashion. Moreover, big brands are starting to become conscious.

Zara says that by 2025, it will make its clothes 100% sustainable. Meanwhile, H&M has goals such as reducing its emission by 56% by 2030 and becoming carbon positive by 2040Prada and Adidas say it is reusing plastic in their nylon apparel.

Levi Strauss aims at reducing greenhouse gas emissions in its facilities by 90% and are focusing on 100% recycled cotton garment. And Target is aiming at sourcing 100% of its cotton more sustainably.

Moreover, ASOS are training their staff on how to apply circular fashion techniques. And The Ellen MacArthur Foundation has launched the Make Fashion Circular initiative, bringing together some of the largest names in the industry to focus on a more sustainable future.

Hence, from garment rentals to simply re-wearing clothes and using sustainable resources, circular fashion is pushing designers and brands to rethink how materials are used and source and design can play into the game of circularity.