Circular fashion is still not in fashion

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The Future. Kearney’s third annual “Circular Fashion Index” found that the fashion industry is way behind on its sustainability goals, especially around “circularity” — when “a garment is repeatedly reused, repaired and recycled before it’s discarded.” That’s bad news for an industry that produces many of the world’s emissions. While transitioning to a more circular-fashion trend may be difficult, new brands, like Angelina Jolie’s Atelier, may be designing a way to push it forward.

Vicious cycle
Consulting firm Kearney found that the fashion industry’s big hype around the four-year-old Fashion Pact may have just been a lot of hot air.

  • Out of 200 major brands, only 7% regularly use recycled materials, with some upcycle standouts being Patagonia, Levi’s, The North Face, Madewell, Lululemon, and Gucci.
  • By and large, most brands are still focused on pumping out new products, using virgin materials, and not educating consumers about discarding used items.
  • Additionally, the infrastructure for recycling or getting rid of clothes is still “underdeveloped,” especially when it relates to fast fashion.

But Kearney also puts blame on consumers, knocking them for “not exploring donation, recycling, repair options.” Only about 15% of clothes and other textiles in the US are reused or recycled.

All of that adds up to a lot of clothes getting mass dumped in places like Ghana (which the country really isn’t happy about) and stitching a big pile of pollution. So much for those sustainability consultants


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