Leading fashion brands embrace circular economy

From adidas to Zara, fashion companies around the world have pledged to increase sustainable design and garment recycling by 2020.

Sixty-four of the world’s leading fashion companies representing a total of 142 brands signed a commitment last year at the Copenhagen Fashion Summit to help accelerate the industry’s transition to a circular fashion system. Prominent signatories included adidas, ASOS, Eileen Fisher, H&M, Hugo Boss, Target and VF Corp.

Last week, their individual company targets for circularity were published online. In total, 143 targets have been set in one or more of the following four areas: designing for circularity, increasing the volume of used garments collected, increasing the volume of used garments resold, and increasing the share of garments made from recycled post-consumer textile fibres.

A total of 55 company targets have been set in the area of designing for circularity, indicating that “many signatories aim to either train their designers in circular design strategies or to implement circular design principles, such as increasing durability, reparability and/or recyclability,” according to Global Fashion Agenda.

H&M is one of those companies. As Anna Gedda, head of sustainability at H&M explains, the circular fashion commitment laid out in the Global Fashion Agenda ties in well with H&M’s vision to become 100 per cent circular and renewable.

“One of the goals for H&M group is to only use recycled or other sustainably sourced materials by 2030 and to become climate positive throughout our entire value chain by 2040 at the latest.”

To this end, the fashion giant is developing training on sustainable materials use and integrating circularity into the design process for all its products.

Inditex, which owns global brands like Zara, Pull&Bear and Massimo Dutti, has also committed to 2020 targets in all four areas, including implementing an active garment collection scheme in 2,000 of its stores in partnership with local non-profit organizations who can redistribute and recycle the garments. It also plans to invest $3.5 million in textile recycling technologies.

A full list of the companies and their individual targets can be accessed here.

An annual progress report will be published for the first time in May 2018, highlighting the companies’ activities and progress in reaching their targets.


Image credit: H&M


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