H&M And Adidas Join Industry Consortium Partners Delivering A Blueprint For Circular Fashion.
Transforming the fashion industry from its linear ‘take, make, waste’ model to a circular one, where materials are perpetually recycled, is considered the ‘holy grail’ of sustainability. With global apparel consumption projected to rise by 63% to 102 million tons in 2030, and an increase in clothing being sent to landfill accordingly (the Ellen MacArthur Foundation reports that $500 billion of value is lost every year due to clothing underutilisation and a lack of recycling), achieving circularity is becoming even more critical.
It has remained elusive, however, with collaborative system-wide changes across the fashion supply chain required in order to ‘close the loop.’ The focus of fashion brands to date has been on somewhat isolated initiatives, including encouraging consumers to mend and wear their clothes for longer, clothing resale, rental and recycling.
Whilst consumer efforts are a positive step, the Paris Agreement on Climate Change and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) demand solutions on a global scale to halt climate change and restore biodiversity within specified timeframes, to meet agreed targets. The projected growth of the fashion industry and the resulting emissions and waste generation make a scaled circular fashion industry solution an urgent environmental imperative. But what level of stakeholder cooperation across the industry is needed to achieve circularity, and how would this be coordinated in a fiercely competitive market?