In the apparel business, steps taken to optimize the customer experience don’t always align with the planet’s best interest. But thanks to pioneering companies applying circular economy technology and design principles, things are beginning to shift.
The circular economy prioritizes practices such as regenerative design, restoration of products and a shift toward materials with lower carbon emissions. The aim is to eliminate waste through innovative technology and design. Products are designed to be disassembled and reused rather than traditionally disposed of. Consumables within a circular economy are optimized for a safe, non-toxic return to the biosphere and can be traced through transparent supply chains.
While the fast fashion movement is at odds with these principles, some brands are distinguishing themselves by prioritizing a more circular approach. As one example, Swedish apparel company Houdini Sportswear has built a reputation for its biodegradable clothing. Its designers think long term: even after a garment no longer can be used, the materials should be fully compostable, rather than disposed of in a landfill