Going Circular: The Fashion Industry’s Inner Sustainability Circle

In a world where fast fashion is the norm and trends are here and gone in the blink of an eye, the longevity and sustainability of our wardrobe choices often take a backseat. But the fashion world is changing.

More and more, luxury brands are joining the environmental bandwagon, going circular and reducing the impacts of clothing production on the Earth’s resources.

What do we mean by the term “circular”? The circular economy is a model for production and consumption that focuses on using shared, reused, and repurposed materials while making products in an environmentally friendly way and creating less waste. And it’s been getting a lot of traction over the last few years.

The tenets of a circular economy run much deeper than the sustainable, earth-friendly production practices with which we are most familiar. It’s more about looking at how consumers dispose of items and how waste piles up rather than simply about the production of goods.

Its aim is to keep products and materials in use for as long as possible, by repairing, refurbishing, and recycling them. This is in contrast to the linear economy, which is based on the idea of extracting resources, making products, using them, and then disposing of them.

The luxury fashion industry is one of the most polluting in the world and the amount of textile waste is staggering. Over 150 billion garments are produced each year and 87% of that ends up in a landfill. The industry is responsible for 10% of all global greenhouse gas emissions. Add to that the massive amounts of water consumed in clothing production plus the use of harmful dyes, and the fashion industry stops looking so luxurious.

The circular economy offers a way for luxury fashion brands to reduce their environmental impact and create a more sustainable future. More and more high-end brands, often seen as exclusive and aspirational, are adopting programs that move them closer to circularity in the fashion world.

There is more focus on designing products that are made to last, using high-quality materials and construction techniques that help products withstand wear and tear. This also means sticking to classic clothing styles while avoiding trends that are likely to go out of style quickly.

Another way to adopt circular economy principles is to offer repair and refurbishment services so customers can extend the life of their products. Not only do such services reduce the need to buy new products when old ones wear out but it also creates jobs in the repair and refurbishment industry. Offering rental and resale services is another way to give customers access to luxury products without having to own them outright. It helps to keep products in use for longer and reduces the amount of waste that is produced.

It’s exciting to see luxury brands choosing to go circular. Burberry launched a program called ReBurberry, which allows customers to return their old Burberry products to be repaired, refurbished, or recycled. The company also offers a lease-to-own program called ReBurberry Exchange, where customers can rent Burberry products for a monthly fee.

Gucci has a repair and refurbishment service and a resale platform while both Chanel and Hermès offer programs to collect and recycle used items.

Even without such services, opportunities abound for businesses in every industry to make sustainable choices. Using recycled materials to make new products is now en vogue and we see brands opting to reuse.  Mercedez Benz S-Class includes sustainable interior mats, Lenovo recently announced new Green Laptops made with recycled materials, and Prada started a program called Re-Nylon, which uses recycled nylon to create new products.

At KINONA, we know circular fashion takes creativity to reduce and reuse in ways that go beyond lip service. We are committed to using high quality material sourced through the woman-owned company, Carvico. Our fabrics use ECONYL® recycled nylon that help to divert materials from landfills while lowering reliance on crude oil for new nylon creation. ECONYL® fabrics also carry the Oeko-Tex Standard 100 label, which certifies that the fabric and dyes used in production are non-harmful to humans and our planet.

KINONA designs focus on classic cuts and avoid fad features for functional style that never goes out of fashion. With a commitment to these circular, sustainable principles, luxury brands, like KINONA, are reducing environmental impact while giving customers high quality fashion that will look great for years to come.

Check out these other ECONYL®brands we think you’ll love:

What is Econyl and why does it matter?

Most KINONA fabrics are sourced from the women-owned company, Carvico, and combine ECONYL® high quality regenerated nylon with lycra for superior fit, feel and performance. Using ECONYL® in our products diverts materials bound for the landfill while also lowering the reliance on crude oil to create new nylon. For every 10,000 tons of ECONYL® raw materials used, 70,000 barrels of crude oil are saved and over 65,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions are avoided.

What is Oeko-Tex Standard and why does it matter? 

KINONA fabrics carry the Oeko-Tex Standard 100 label. The label certifies that the fabric and dyes used in production are non-harmful to humans, meaning our collections are produced in a way that keeps our planet and her people safe.

What does Circular Fashion mean? 

The circular economy is a model for production and consumption that focuses on using shared, reused, and repurposed materials while making products in an environmentally friendly way and creating less waste. In the fashion industry this means sustainably produced products as well as the repairing, reusing, and refurbishing of materials.

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