How Eco-Fashion Companies Can Participate in the Circular Economy

AJ Gonzalez | August 9, 2021

Blue & Green Tomorrow, Published on  By  

All companies need to have an adequate waste management solution. This involves making sure that they can manage all of their textile waste.

Research has shown that around 120,000 tons of textile waste are recorded and produced per year in the US. Developing and building a fashion sector circular economy could alleviate the global textile waste.

The concept, however, is impossible to achieve. Conor Hartman, the VP of the Circ business development department, said that the apparel industry was not fully taking responsibility.

Among the fashion companies who talk about modifying or altering the landscape, only a few are making financial investments. But not all fashion companies are the same. Levi’s, for example, recently launched SecondHand, the company’s first-ever resale offering.

H&M also opened its first garment recycling unit called Loop across the globe. Now, what do we need to do to make 2021 a groundbreaking year for circular fashion?

Accelerating Circularity founder, Karla Magruder, said that action and progress are needed. We cannot do it alone. Everyone is part of a big puzzle.

There are some major steps that eco-fashion companies can take to be environmentally friendly. Here are the other things to turn circular fashion into a reality this 2021:

Learn from the Past

With the global pandemic, prevalent racial injustice, and wildfires in Washington, California, and Oregon, it is difficult to ignore them. Despite the flaws of the government, people work more quickly to address them.

CEO of Rheaply Garry Cooper said that “our COVID experience gives us the chance to know how tight we are as a global ecosystem.” 

He added that when it breaks down, everything breaks down. He also said that it is an excellent opportunity for the said circular economy.

But the challenge is how we seriously adopt every circular principle.

Garry Cooper also added that the world of fashion business is already willing and ready for circular fashion.

Learn to Bridge Gaps Within the Fashion’s Supply Chain 

People have started collecting textiles and manually sorting them during textile recycling. With the time and effort, they need to spend in textile recycling, some experts say that it is possible to invest in high-end equipment to implement mechanical sorting, according to Magruder.

Unlike the manual collecting, sorting, and recycling, the use of innovative and advanced equipment would be time-saving, stress-free, convenient, and seamless without compromising quality results.

One of the companies that began recycling their textiles is Fibersort. In March of 2020, they automatically sorted fiber-based textiles, which is a good inspiration for other companies in the fashion sector.

However, people who started sorting and recycling do not speak with one another. That means they do not work with the same objective and dream.

“If we can get these guys to talk and work together, our dream for circular fashion would be possible,” Magruder said. “Collaboration can play a critical role for 2021 to be a groundbreaking year for the circular fashion to thrive and be practiced by the majority of companies,” she added.

After launching recyclable products, the job of fashion and textile companies does not stop there. Although the item is recyclable, not all customers will recycle, which poses another challenge for textile or fashion brands.

They need to make sure their products are collected, sorted, properly recycled, and turn into a new item. It is hard to make it happen. But all of your efforts will be worth it at the end of the day.

Aside from Fibersort, Coyuchi is another popular name in the circular fashion industry. While Fibersort started recycling their textiles, Coyuchi makes sheets, towels, and other home textiles. After taking back their products in the market, they used textiles to create, produce, and manufacture their blanket.

Other fashion companies have started using compostable packaging for their fashion stores. This is certainly the trend in 2021, although it is quite more expensive than the good-old packaging.

Invest Resources and Streamline Every Technological Solution

Over 100 billion clothing items are manufactured every year. Circ, a fashion company, aims to recycle at least a billion garments by 2030, which is nearly 10% of the textile production across the globe.

Circ’s newest technology is developed to take waste made of poly-cotton, polyester, or cotton blends. How does it work? Well, it can efficiently divide the polyester into different parts or building blocks. Then, it is turned into a top-grade polyester. Plus, it can retrieve the cotton in producing cellulosic fibers with precision and consistency.

“Circ plans to build its first factories in Danville, Virginia, and across the world. Textile waste is a global problem, so we have a global ambition,” said Hartman.

“We would like to deploy our technology from different parts of the continent. But it would not be possible without the investment of some industry giants, including Patagonia, Alante Capital, Marubeni America, and Card Sound Capital. I also encourage other fashion and textile companies to do their part to make our world a better place to live in and for our future generations to see, enjoy and experience.” 

Support and Implement Laws and Regulations 

The legislation for the circular fashion industry at every level of the government is limited and lacking.

In France, however, the government forbade textile landfilling from any unsold clothing.

The EU is also developing a textile approach, and the EU allowed people to send their feedback, express their thoughts, and share their opinions.

Apart from France, the Department of Environmental Protection in Massachusetts suggested adding mattresses to the materials prohibited from disposal.

The existing regulations in the EU, France, and Massachusetts would not give companies a choice to avoid circular fashion. They would finally implement every circular fashion strategies and principles, alleviating the million tons of global textile waste.

Sadly, global textile waste is growing for the past decades. But instead of finding who’s to blame, we have a lot of things to do for the circular fashion to happen finally.

Yes, it would be hard at first. But remember how Fibersort recycles their textiles, Coyuchi manufactures sheets/towels, and Circ creates technology to take waste consisting of either cotton or polyester blends.

If others made it possible, you could also do and achieve the same thing. But it does not happen overnight. It is a long process requiring every fashion clothing company to be patient and committed. Remember that all of your efforts will pay off for sure.

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