Awareness of circular fashion is increasing, and customers demand sustainable products to save the available resources. They want the fashion industry to give them biodegradable clothes. The textile industry that manufactures the garments should not cause environmental or socio-economic harm. It is known as circular fashion. It gives equal importance to all stages of a garment’s life, from the production to the end. Circularity ensures that resources are optimally used and the air, land and water are not polluted during production. Garments are made using eco-friendly dyes and materials which don’t pollute the environment. Again these clothes are made to last as long as possible.
The textile industry is responsible for 2% of the world’s greenhouse emissions. If consumption trends don’t change, they will reach 26% by 2050. The textile industries use 4% of drinking water in the world, and they also pollute the water by dumping dyes and chemicals into water bodies. Though it uses vast amounts of raw materials, water and energy, nearly 10% of the clothes manufactured are thrown away after a single use. Circular fashion ensures that clothes are in circulation for a long time. Garments are not disposed of quickly but are repaired and reused. The textile industry produces nearly 40 million tonnes of waste annually, which is not good for the environment.
What is circular fashion?
Circular fashion aims to create zero waste. It ensures all garments are reused or remade, and none ends in landfills or incinerators. All garments are kept in circulation for many years, reducing the use of primary resources to make new clothes. Waste is reduced through resale, repairing the existing clothes or selling used garments in second-hand stores. Cotton and wool fibres from used clothes are recycled and blended with new fibres, and garments are made from them.
Reduce, reuse and recycle
Most people don’t buy clothes out of necessity, but for fashion and to express their individuality. Those who want to follow the latest trends constantly replace their clothes. They throw away clothes after a few uses. To avoid this wastage, people must learn to buy less, concentrate on buying essential clothes and use them for many years.
A good quality garment is worn nearly 100 to 200 times. Moreover, people can use the garments after repairing and mending instead of replacing them. It helps to reuse the garment a maximum number of times.
Recycling used clothes brings them back into usage. However, only single material clothes are recycled quickly. The recycled clothes can be used as rags for cleaning purposes or insulation material for packing. The fibres are sometimes removed and used to make new garments.
Four significant steps in circular fashion are
- Reduce the overproduction of garments, leading to less selling and buying of clothes.
- Design garments that are durable and wearable for many years.
- Plan to extend the garment’s life to the maximum possible time.
- Manage the end of life of the garment.
The idea behind circular fashion is to minimise waste during production and create awareness of buying fewer clothes. Every step in the production process leads to the sustainability and longevity of the garments. It eliminates the need to create new clothes and use what is in circulation.
Benefits of circular fashion for the environment
Circular fashion insists on waste reduction, and the clothes are used repeatedly. Therefore, less waste goes to landfills and saves the environment.
Circular fashion encourages people to continue using garments that are already being used. It reduces the necessity to make new garments, and the resources are saved.
Most brands promoting circular fashion use renewable energy like wind and solar power. It decreases the pollution caused by fossil fuels and promotes green energy.
Circularity saves resources and reduces carbon emissions. It helps to save the planet for future generations. It decreases the pressure on the environment, protects the resources and boosts the economic growth of a country.