The circular economy is designed to ensure a product is manufactured to last for as long as possible, with minimal to zero waste. This can be visualised as a value “circle” where garments are produced, regenerated and reused – as opposed to a “linear” model where products are made, used and then disposed of.
Moving away from a linear model towards a circular economy ensures that clothes are worn for longer. The entire lifecycle of the products are considered – materials are sourced, manufactured and transported in environmental ways and then sold ensuring the products can be reused and repaired. Finally, when the product reaches the end of its lifecycle it is recycled or disposed in an environmentally conscious way.
The Circular Economy:
The Circular Fashion Industry is built on sixteen principles, to support fashion as a manufacturer and consumer of fashion. To provide an overview here are three principles to begin:
1. Design for longevity:
Clothes should be built to last, and designed with consideration to how well the fabric will endure over time. Styles should be timeless (rather than short trend-led pieces) that are suitable for reuse or rental
2. Buy quality as opposed to quantity:
Avoid fast fashion shopping sprees, and focus on a capsule wardrobe, comprising high quality basics that are timeless and built to stand the test of time.
3. Consider rent, loan, swap, secondhand or redesign instead of buying new:
Before you consider purchasing something new, appreciate the value of what you already own. Also consider renting, swapping clothes or buying vintage as a more sustainable alternative.
So what does the Circular Economy consumer look like?
Based on the above principles, a circular fashion consumer is someone who:
- Purchases pieces with at least a “30 wear” outlook per piece, possibly a lifetime;
- Buys clothing from sustainable and ethical brands, looking for pieces that have been environmentally certified;
- Prioritises vintage and second hand shopping, or finding pieces available to rent or swap, rather than purchasing new;
- Looks to repair and redesign clothes to extend their lifecycle;
- Takes care of their wardrobe, using eco-friendly washing products, leaving pieces to dry naturally.
- Always recycles pieces that are worn-out or beyond repair.
The conscious consumer wants to embrace the circular economy and disregard the linear, so every pieces is recycled, repurposed and reused.
HURR Collective is the UK’s first peer-to-peer wardrobe rental platform, on a mission to make renting an everyday occurrence, whilst paving the way towards a more sustainable future. HURR shows how circular fashion can be put into action.
The model is simple, renting and lending your wardrobe extends the lifecycle of each garment you own, thus reducing it’s environmental impact.