The fashion industry is one of the biggest polluters in the world. The industry is responsible for creating 92 million tonnes of waste per year. But how can we solve all the problems that the fashion industry creates? Circular fashion is the answer.
Fast fashion – what’s wrong with it?
The “fastness” of fast fashion appears in multiple ways – the production process, the customer’s decision to purchase, the time while using and the changes in the industry are extremely fast. The overall rush of the industry affects both the quality of the product and the environment. Because produced goods are of poor quality, they end up being used only a few times. In fact, recent statistics show that the average item of clothing is worn only 14 times and is considered old after being worn only twice.
Aside from being extremely wasteful, the fast fashion industry is infamously known for huge amounts of water consumption for the production process and problems concerning social sustainability and workers' rights.
What is circular fashion?
One of the possible solutions to problems that fast fashion creates is shifting to circular fashion. The circular fashion industry has all of the features that the circular economy represents. It can be defined as items of clothing that are designed, sourced, produced, and provided with the intention to be used as long as possible in their most valuable form.
Circular fashion is able to eliminate the astonishing amounts of waste that fast fashion creates. For example, in 2021 clothing sharing By Rotation’s community took 150 cars off the road, saved 2,400 dresses worth of textile waste and conserved 66 Olympic sized swimming pools of water. That was done simply by choosing to rent and lend clothes instead of buying new ones.
Most importantly, choosing circular fashion is easy. Here are four tips for you to start your journey in a more circular fashion:
Share your clothes with others. It can either be your friends or strangers with similar fashion tastes as yours. Platforms like Comns, Tulerie, Spjara and many others provide an opportunity to lend or rent your clothes from others instead of buying new clothes.
Choose second-hand clothes. While choosing second-hand clothing you can not only give clothes a second life but also update your wardrobe with unique pieces of clothing. You can either choose physical thrift stores or try out clothes selling platforms like Vinted, where you can sell and buy various pieces of clothing straight from others.
Fix your clothes. Before giving up on a piece of clothing that is broken, give it a shot at repairing it. By simply mending clothing yourself or using a tailor’s service, you can significantly extend the longevity of the product and avoid increasing your environmental footprint.
Reuse your clothes. A great way to provide a second life to a piece of clothing is by reusing them for different purposes. Classical examples of it are making a tote bag from an old T-shirt or shorts out of pants you are bored of.
ReGeneration 2030’s Circulents project is focusing on educating youth in the Nordic and Baltic Sea region on circular economy. If you want to be a part of this working group, fill up the volunteer form.