One can tell a lot about a person by looking at what they are wearing. Our clothes hold power to express our mood, emotions, status in society, lifestyle, religious and political inclination; we wear red on Valentine’s day, yellow when we feel happy and black to mourn. Dresses are the treasures that we keep in our closets. We spend time, money, and energy to find the pieces we want and in the hope, they will bring a smile or make a long-lasting impression.
Within the Circular Economy, Fashion products are placed under two categories that are products with wasted lifecycles where clothes are disposed of when the person’s body has changed in size, and; products with wasted capability when people have more than required clothing items in their wardrobe. On average a dress can withstand up to 30 wash cycles before it is deemed unfit to wear.
Sadly, We have reached a state of mind where one in three young women in Britain consider clothes “old” after wearing them once or twice (McKinsey & Co. 2019). We are chopping down forests to make farms to grow cotton, we are exploiting our rivers to grow crops and raise animals for leather as well as we are adding more toxic dyes in our waterways, we are also converting lands into landfills where our waste can sit peacefully. This linear: produce, consume & dispose of model of fashion is not sustainable for our future.
This is where applying the concepts of “Circular Fashion” comes in to tackle such and other environmental problems as it takes a holistic approach towards how fashion should be produced, consumed, and disposed of.
By 2050 the equivalent of almost three planets could be required to sustain current lifestyles (UN, ) and With almost $500b of value lost each year due to clothing “underutilisation and the lack of recycling” (WEF); making Fashion circular could be the only answer we have. Here is our guide to everything you need to know about the Future of Fashion: Circular Fashion. Circular Fashion is one inevitable revolution coming to shape the future of fashion, and you should know about this. In 2020, 60 major global brands took a pledge to make fashion more circular by 2030 (Pebble magazine, April 2020)
Why is Circular Fashion Important?
By 2030, more than 3 billion people will join the middle class, which will increase the pressure on our natural resources and finite supplies of energy, materials, food, and water. With the exponential increase in demand, there is a warning for the upcoming shortage of supplies, which will further add to the increased cost of living. Imagine on the same land you could grow food instead of clothing.
Clothing and other Fashion piece are products with wasted capability, which stays idle and remain unused for most of the time, silently hanging in our closets. These can be used collaboratively through co-ownership to make them more efficient resource-wise.
But, What is Circular Fashion?
Today, we live in a linear economy that is based on make-use-dispose principles, i.e., we produce clothes, we buy and wear them, and then we send them off to landfills (where they might stay for up to 500 years). Think about this: by 2050 the global population is going to rise, the land will be required to grow food to support a massive human population and the water crisis is going to get only worse. How are we going to continue to make clothes and dispose at the rate we are? (A cotton T-shirt takes up 2700 liters of water to produce).
Circular Fashion is the part of the Circular Economy relating to the Fashion industry. In easier terms the concept of the circular economy is ‘one’s waste should be other’s raw material, thereby keeping materials endlessly in a loop form‘.
Circular fashion is all about mindful consumption of fashion. Produce sustainably, repair what is broken, indulge in cloth swapping, thrift and vintage shopping, and renting; recycle or upcycle worn-out clothes. Circular fashion considers everything a piece of clothing will go through, starting from production to disposal.
Why should You adopt a Circular fashion?
Remember the movie Wall-E; the deserted earth in the film is not too far away. We will experience the same if we don’t start acting now; as Sir David Attenborough said ‘either it is going to be global Chernobyl or a global Singapore City’. In any case, nature will bounce back but, will we?
If plastic is let to degrade in the natural environment i.e., Landfills and Oceans it slowly turn into microplastics. Turns out you might be consuming up to 52,000 microplastics annually and inhaling more than 74,000 microfibers (NatGeo, 2019).
Let’s look at this scenario where circular fashion or anything made of out recycled plastic is important. We are assuming that you are well aware of the fact that by 2050 there will be more plastic in the ocean than fishes. Stopping plastic from entering the ocean is a completely different subject of waste management and we will cover this in the coming days. In a nutshell, When we buy clothing made out of recycled material we are supporting ocean cleanups, investing in recycling infrastructure (The recycling industry seriously needs funds and studies), more importantly, we are creating the demand for recycled products. If history has taught us anything it is ‘only the demand can create the change’.
How can you be a part of the Circular Fashion Revolution?
- Rent- If you know that you will never repeat the outfit you are going to wear to that occasion, simply choose to rent. Save money, save wardrobe space, feel fabulous, and save our precious resources.
- Lease- If you love refreshing your wardrobe every season or you are into building a capsule wardrobe, simply Lease the clothing for a certain amount of time and repeat. If you live in the EU, you can lease a pair of jeans from ‘Mudjean’ or occasion wear from Satatland.
- Slow fashion: Shop sustainable, Buy less, Buy locally produced. Take proper care, basically love your clothes and whatever you do, do not buy into trends.
- Repair: As consumers, we need to take responsibility for our actions and understand how much of a difference repairing your old clothes can make. Patching and stitching can help you connect with your clothes and ultimately with nature.
- Subscription Rental- Pay a certain amount per month and rent as many clothes as you like, what can be better? Stay sustainable without compromising. Subscription rental is now becoming popular across the globe, check with your local rental service.
- Recommerce- Depop, RealReal, Vestaire collective are just a few examples of where you can get cash for your old fashion products.
- Build a Capsule wardrobe:- Optimise your wardrobe to a few items that can be worn throughout the year.
- Buy Vintage:- Buy designer pieces that are more than ten years old. Trust us the quality used to be so much better then.
- Sell/Give to Recycler. Do not throw it in the trash! Various companies buy old clothes for recycling and it’s far better than dumping your clothes in the garbage. Check with your local recycler.
Circular Fashion at Satatland
Here at Satatland, we are bringing the utopian vision of how fashion should be produced, consumed, and disposed of. Depending on where you are located, you may rent, lease or buy our designs globally.
All our designs are made from Sustainable materials with Ethical Partners. You can shop our clothing based on how often you repeat as well as you can always return our clothing as we know how to correctly recycle them. To learn more about our approach, please read here: Satatland’s Approach
We are an ownership-free brand which means, once your purchase is no longer required or wearable you can send it back to us for responsible reuse/recycle/upcycle. For every piece of clothing, you return you get 10% off on your next purchase.
- BOF and McKinsey (2019). The State of Fashion. [online] Available at: https://www.mckinsey.com/~/media/mckinsey/industries/retail/our%20insights/the%20state%20of%20fashion%202019%20a%20year%20of%20awakening/the-state-of-fashion-2019-final.ashx [Accessed 18 Oct. 2020].
- Ellenmacarthurfoundation.org. (2019). Fashion and the circular economy. [online] Available at: https://www.ellenmacarthurfoundation.org/explore/fashion-and-the-circular-economy. [Accessed 18 Oct. 2020]
- Fashion For Good, and Accenture. “The Future of Circular Fashion Report.” Fashion For Good, 2019, https://www.fashionforgood.com/our_news/driving-circular-business-models-in-fashion/. [Accessed 18 Oct. 2020].
- United Nations. Goal 12: Ensure Sustainable Consumption and Production Partners [Online] Available at: https://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/sustainable-consumption-production/ [Accessed 5th May 2021]
- Whiting, K. (2019). 7 Ways To Break The Fast Fashion Habit – And Save The Planet. [online] World Economic Forum. Available at: https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2019/02/7-ways-to-break-the-fast-fashion-habit-and-save-the-planet/ [Accessed 5th May 2021]
- Fernandez, C. (2018). How Can Fashion Embrace the Circular Economy? [online] The Business of Fashion. Available at: https://www.businessoffashion.com/articles/voices/how-can-fashion-embrace-the-circular-economy. [Accessed 18 Oct. 2020]
- Powell, G.W. (2020). 60 Fashion Brands Sign New Circular Fashion Pledge. [online] Available at: https://pebblemag.com/news/new-circular-fashion-pledge [Accessed 18 Oct. 2020].
- Simon, M. (2020). Plastic Rain Is the New Acid Rain. [online] Wired. Available at: https://www.wired.com/story/plastic-rain-is-the-new-acid-rain/ [Accessed 18 Oct. 2020].
- Gibbens, S (2019). You Eat Thousands of Bits of Plastic Every Year. [online] National Geographic. Available at: https://www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/2019/06/you-eat-thousands-of-bits-of-plastic-every-year/#:~:text=Now%2C%20a%20new%20study%20in,number%20is%20more%20than%2074%2C000 [Accessed 5th May 2021]