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Introduction to Sustainable Fashion

What do you know about sustainable fashion? Are you concerned about the impact that the global fast-fashion industry is having on our planet? In this week’s blog post, we’re looking into the basics of fashion sustainability and the direction of global sustainability trends.  

According to findings released by the UK-based Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) around £140 million’s worth of clothing ends up in landfills every year. Whilst this statistic is totally awful, it’s sadly not really a shock – high street fast fashion trends have been abundant in the industry for the past twenty years, and this has influenced the way people dress all-across the globe.  

Don’t worry too much though, it’s not all doom and gloom. Research from the global consultancy firm Deloitte has revealed that over 80% of Millennials and Gen Z’s living in Australia, China, Canada, India, the US and the UK are increasingly keen for companies to produce ethically made garments and to massively reduce their environmental impact. So much so that young people aged 25-30 are predicted to spend the equivalent of over 150 billion US dollars on sustainable goods by the year 2021... That’s less than two years away!  

The global trend forecasting company WGSN recently released several recommendations for brands looking to ‘tap into’ the increasing demand for sustainable and ethically produced clothing. Interestingly, the first was an increased emphasised on the need for companies to heighten the importance of the post-purchase responsibility on the consumer. Here at Circle we think that encouraging big brands to do not only this, but to exceed expectations by setting targets to reduce totally avoidable waste at the source, is one of the best recommendations released by WGSN. This idea includes things like using green energy to power warehouses and delivery vehicles, and recycling or reusing materials which would have previously been thrown away. These are the companies already exceeding expectations and paving the way for a future of eco-friendly/sustainable fashion: Adidas - praised last year for pledging to use only recycled plastics by 2024 and H&M, Burberry and Marks & Spencer – all signed a global agreement to ensure 100% of their plastic packaging can be reused, recycled or composted by 2025.  

Moving away now from big brands and companies, we know that by using sites such as Depop and ASOS Marketplace, young people are paving the way for the emerging consumer reuse and recycle trends, all whilst encouraging companies to engage with their local communities by supporting local projects to create networks of sustainability.

Paper Bag Used By Circle Collective StoresYoung people – you are AWESOME!  

Find out more about WRAP’s plans to reduce waste in the UK here: http://www.wrap.org.uk/about-us/our-plan