HOW WE ACCELERATE CIRCULARITY
Systemic industry change is critical for a sustainable fashion industry. We believe in the potential of circular systems to form inclusive and supportive infrastructures for sustainability.
To guide and mobilise the industry to act boldly on circularity, GFA facilitates action-oriented targets, supportive tools and on-the-ground projects.
Our commitments drive industry pledges and support fashion companies in reaching their targets on important topics, e.g. 2020 Circular Fashion System Commitment that has engaged 12.5% of the global fashion market to accelerate the industry’s transition to a circular fashion system.
View our reports below.
2020 Commitment status report: Year 1
COMMITTING TO CHANGE
This is the first status report of the 2020 Commitment which covers the first year of the commitment from 2017-2018. The report focuses on the targets and strategies set by the signatories—keeping in mind that future reports will focus on the actions taken to reach those targets.
The report aims to provide an overview of how far companies have come since signing the 2020 Commitment, but also functions as a platform to share experiences of working with circularity in the fashion industry. The report identifies companies that have not lived up to the commitment’s requirements, but it does not compare the individual efforts of companies.
2020 Commitment status report: Year 2
A CALL TO ACTION
During the 2017 Copenhagen Fashion Summit, Global Fashion Agenda called on the fashion industry to take action on circularity by signing a commitment as a concrete way of turning words into action. The goal was to increase the number of fashion brands and retailers taking action on circularity with the aim of accelerating the industry’s transition to a circular fashion system.
To monitor progress, we requested these brands to monitor their progress through an annual status report. The Status Report is composed of feedback that signatories gave in a mandatory annual survey, as well as a voluntary group and one-on-one discussions.
Circular Design Toolbox
This toolbox functions as a starting point for fashion brands and retailers seeking to explore circular design within their company. Its overarching intention is to inform and inspire key departments within a company. This includes management, design and marketing, with the ultimate goal of enhancing a company’s understanding of the critical role design plays in creating a circular fashion system.
The aim of this toolbox is to gather key insights from brands, organisations, companies and researchers to prompt engagement and action amongst fashion brands. The focus is on finding ways to design closed-loop products that can be looped back into the fashion system by ultimately redefine the life cycle of garments. Throughout the toolbox, we point to external resources and guides that can provide further support, insights and knowhow.
The toolbox is divided into six sections for different departments to easily navigate the different processes associated with each phase:
1. Becoming informed introduces the role of circular design and outlines calls for action.
2. Creating a circular design strategy explores why circular design is strategically sound and outlines how to develop targets.
3. Designing circular products dives deeper into the different approaches to circular design.
4. Marketing circular products examines the role of labelling and marketing for a circular design to be successful.
5. Evaluating the circular product & process provides tips on how to evaluate the success of your circular design and how to identify improvement levers.
6. The road ahead explores roadblocks to circular design.
DID YOU KNOW:
50% OF USED TEXTILES ARE DISCARDED IN THE EUROPEAN UNION
Garment collection toolbox
This toolbox focuses on how to increase the volume of collected used garments. While not necessarily the most relevant starting point for all signatories, nor the most important step towards creating a circular fashion system, this is an essential and simple step to take.
The toolbox is designed to support fashion brands and retailers who would like to set up a garment collection scheme. Although primarily created as a practical guide on how to set up such a scheme, the toolbox doubles as further inspiration for those who have already taken action.
The toolbox is divided into five key steps: becoming informed, planning, communication, implementation and evaluation. This will help you match key insights with the relevant departments in your company. Each section includes learnings as well as examples of other brands’ approaches.
This guide provides tips on how to: onboard top management; find the collection model and partner(s) that works for you; navigate local regulation; inform and motivate your staff ; engage and incentivise your customers; evaluate your impact; and lastly, respond to criticism.
DID YOU KNOW:
Every year , over 4 million tons of textiles are incinerated or landfilled in the EUROPEAN UNION
Today’s linear “take, make, dispose” economic model is reaching its limits. As a result, natural resources are becoming increasingly scarce, threatening the future growth of a dependent fashion industry. A circular system can restore and regenerate materials.
In addition to providing opportunities to reduce environmental pressures and curb the demand on natural resources, the circular model can secure future supplies while at the same time, capture the greatest value of a product.
The aim of this toolbox is to gather key insights from brands, organisations, companies and researchers to prompt engagement and action amongst fashion brands. By exploring different ways to design closed-loop products and ultimately redefine the life cycle of garments.
The toolboxes highlight external resources and guides that can provide additional insights and useful tips for fashion brands and retailers looking to explore circularity within their company. This toolbox represents a starting point for this particular process and also acts as further inspiration for those companies who have already embarked on their circular journey.
To create a circular fashion system, there are three essential aspects: (i) set up collection systems; (ii) integrate circular design; and (iii) consider how to manage end-of-use of garments. Practices that extend product usage, for example resale, or through recycling worn-out garments and incorporating recycled post-consumer fibres into the production of new garments make this possible.
COLLECTIVELY, WE CAN:
Reposition clothing resale from a fringe to a mainstream activity
Textile Recycling Toolbox
Reutilising products at the end of use is crucial to become circular and can be done by extending the life of a product or recycling it. Although textile recycling is still in its infancy, it is essential to establish a support system that can transform recycling into a financially, technically and logistically lucrative operation. Furthermore, this kind of system can become a feasible way to increase the share of garments made from recycled post-consumer textiles fibres.
This toolbox functions as a tool to support fashion brands and retailers seeking to increase the share of recycled post-consumer textile fibres in their production. In this toolbox, textile recycling refers only to the recycling of post-consumer garments and footwear into new fibres to be used for future clothing or shoe production.
Today, many garments are composed of synthetic and natural materials, which means they require different recycling methods. Loosely translated, this makes recycling more complex, and also increasingly difficult.
For instance, chemical recycling entails materials that are chemically processed to produce new filaments that will be later transformed into new yarns and fabrics. Mechanical recycling involves mechanically cutting and shredding fabrics to deconstruct them into reusable fibres and materials.