Circular Fashion

Fashion's Waste Problem

Here are some quick facts:

  • Clothing represents more than 60% of total used textiles and relies mostly on non-renewable resources, including oil to produce synthetic fibres, fertilizers to grow cotton, and chemicals to produce, dye, and finish textiles
  • Driven by cultures of overconsumption, the last 15 years have seen an increase in clothing production of nearly 200%, and consumption is 60% higher in the same timeframe.
  • More than half of fast fashion produced is disposed of in under a year
  • The global average number of times a garment is worn before it ceases to be used is 7 times.
  • Currently, most apparel & other textiles end up in landfill; less than 1% are recycled
  • The growth of this industry is only projected to accelerate and thus negative environmental impacts are likely to increase in scale and severity

Why Circular Textiles?

At its core, circular fashion and the circular fashion economy aim to reduce the amount of waste created by the industry, as well as encourage reuse, recycling and the use of regenerative and sustainable materials. A circular textiles system addresses this wasteful use of resources and adverse impacts by innovating textile design, adopting new technologies and renewable materials, increasing the reuse and recycling of old garments, and by eliminating waste and pollution.

While some countries have high collection rates for reuse and recycling, much of this collected material is exported to countries with little to no collection infrastructure of their own, which only marginally increases clothing utilization, and does not provide a long-term solution. According to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation “more than USD 500 billion of value is lost every year due to clothing underutilization and lack of recycling” with material disposal alone representing a value loss of more than USD 100 billion each year.

Get our Newsletter

Get our Newsletter

The inside scoop on what's happening

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website.