What is circular fashion?
La circular fashion it bases its foundations on the principles of the circular economy, that is the great ability to reproduce by itself without affecting the resources of our planet.
To understand the principle on which the circular fashion we must first change our way of thinking about the life of a single garment.
The raw materials that are used to allow the circular development of fashion differ mainly in two types:
- "Natural" materials which can be nuointroduced into the biosphere (e.g. cotton).
- The "technical" materials whose future foresees the art of recycling, therefore of reuse (for example polyester).
It is therefore essential to start thinking in a "circular" way, as if it were a "circle" that does not include expenses.
The fabrics that will enter the circular fashion they will end up having a different shape as well as their way of existing, but in any case they will remain perpetually within the circle (at least until exhaustion).
Circular fashion represents the best solution to safeguard the health of our planet, polluting less and saving precious resources.
To make the concept of "resource saving" clearer, let's look at this graph that shows Earth Overshoot Day, the day of the year in which we consumed all the resources produced by the planet:
The more we progress in the years, the more rapidly we consume the planet's resources (especially food), and even if in 2020 it dropped to the levels of 2005 thanks to the pandemic, in 2021 it immediately returned to the levels of 2019
When is fashion circular?
We won't talk much about this article textile certifications, as we often do when we talk about sustainable fashion or ethical fashion, but we limit ourselves to a mention of a few certifications that can help us identify a product of circular fashion:
GRS - Global Recycle Standard
It certifies the use of recycled materials in the composition of a material / fiber.
PSV - Plastica Seconda Vita
It certifies the use of recycled plastic materials in the composition of a material.
The first step that takes place in the circular fashion is to choose non-contaminating and at the same time recyclable compounds, therefore of natural fabrics and not synthetic.
By doing so, we instantly decline the danger of overflowing microplastics which occurs during the processing of the product and also in our homes due to washing.
It must be said that the recycling of natural fibers is not so simple, since when mixed with other fibers (example: 80% cotton 20% polyester) it becomes difficult, or at least very expensive, to be able to recycle them.
So it is important to choose non-blended materials, as at the end of the garment's life there is a good chance that it will not be recycled, but burned in incinerators for energy.
Le synthetic fibers they are more easily recycled, and it is easy to find clothes in recycled polyester and microfiber on the market.
Then there are some fibers derived from the recycling of plastic materials, such as for example Econyl e Newlife, two excellent examples of circular fashion. Despite being synthetic materials and therefore counterproductive for the environment, these are produced in a sustainable way by recycling fishing nets, carpets, industrial waste, plastic bottles from separate collection.
Circular fashion, fast and slow fashion
This involves the production of millions of garments every day, consuming natural resources, energy, exploiting cheap labor.
A single fast fashion distribution chain can produce over 50 collections in just one year.
Even if these chains talk more and more often about sustainability in their advertising campaigns, it is good to know that communicating sustainability in fashion is very different from actually implementing it: in order not to be misled we must have a minimum of training.
The production of clothing, bags, shoes and accessories is essential, we are aware of this, but it should be based on valuable characteristics, and in this case the Slow Fashion, the antagonist par excellence of Fast Fashion.
An excellent dress from a qualitative point of view turns out to be more durable over time and, in this sense, slow fashion products are a step forward, not to mention that many designers who follow this movement are committed to development of a more circular fashion.
Circular fashion and fabric recycling
In circular fashion, the recycling of fabrics is of great importance and the activities that do this work should be supported by governments.
Undoubtedly, the current trend is towards the purchase of low-cost products and, absurdly, it costs less to waste primary resources than to recycle existing resources: this means that a virgin cotton dress can cost less than a dress in recycled cotton.
In this situation thetextile innovation could play a key role, as many companies are launching into the circular fashion, some for commercial purposes, some for conscience. What matters is certainly the final result: reducing theenvironmental impact of the textile industry.
Then there is a struggle with the common thought that a recycled “suit” can correspond to a qualitative level of little value.
On the contrary, a garment modified to be reused could correspond to a piece of one's wardrobe that is certainly much more original and that will strike the attention and interest of those who can admire it.
While a garment made with recycled fabrics can be defined as having a quality equal to that made with virgin fabrics.
THEfashion industry, or at least part of it, points a lot to the recycling of fabrics, with the aim of significantly lowering the technological costs of "mechanical" clothing recycling operations (currently still inconvenient from an economic point of view, at least for certain fibers).
Therefore, if you really want to change the environmental situation for the better, then it is essential to try in our little one to change some bad habits, starting with buying fewer items, paying attention to labels to evaluate their sustainability, and recycling more carefully.
Why choose circular fashion?
We choose the circular fashion to reduce our environmental impact, assuming that every single individual can and must make a difference.
It's not easy, we know. Sometimes for the high costs, other times for the scarce availability of products. But we can commit ourselves, give at least a thought to circular fashion every time we make purchases.
What will happen to the item you are about to purchase when its life is over? Am I buying an ethical and sustainable product? Is it 100% cotton or is it blended with synthetic materials?
Where to buy circular fashion?
The best examples of circular fashion you can find them on our search engine for sustainable fashion brands and shops.
ecoFashion is a web portal and free app for companies and consumers, and it does nothing but facilitate the purchase of ecological, ethical, or cruelty free products, to all those who want to use them: