Singapore-headquartered Shein is undoubtedly fashion’s economic success story of the 2020s with the retailer reporting record 2023 profits amid a week of doom and gloom for the rest of the apparel sector.

Fashion recycling in particular, which was once regarded as the holy grail for turning the sector’s ‘polluting’ reputation into a circularity marvel, has had an incredibly painful start to 2024.

It’s downhill struggle began when textile-to-textile recycling firm Renewcell announced its bankruptcy back in February.

And only last week the UK’s Textile Recycling Association (TRA) admitted it needs the UK government to step in and regulate the industry as it is on the brink of collapse.

There was some glimmer of hope when Renewcell announced it received some purchase bids to potentially save the company, but we’ll have to see if any of them will come to fruition.

And Canadian athleisure company Lululemon is continuing to raise the circularity flag with its multi-year collaboration with Australian start-up Samsara Eco to bring recycled innovations to market.

How well do you really know your competitors?

Access the most comprehensive Company Profiles on the market, powered by GlobalData. Save hours of research. Gain competitive edge.

Company Profile – free sample

Thank you!

Your download email will arrive shortly

Not ready to buy yet? Download a free sample

We are confident about the unique quality of our Company Profiles. However, we want you to make the most beneficial decision for your business, so we offer a free sample that you can download by submitting the below form

By GlobalData
Visit our Privacy Policy for more information about our services, how we may use, process and share your personal data, including information of your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications. Our services are intended for corporate subscribers and you warrant that the email address submitted is your corporate email address.

Meanwhile, the future of UK fashion retailer Superdry is looking uncertain once again after its founder confirmed he is no longer pursuing a takeover bid.

Plus, Authentic Brands Group, which is usually deemed a safe pair of hands for apparel companies, has admitted defeat on its efforts to turn around UK fashion retailer Ted Baker and has put it into administration.

Am I surprised by any of these tragic events? Honestly, no.

GlobalData’s consumer survey conducted across Germany, France, Spain, Italy, China and the US in December 2023 made it clear that during these ongoing challenging times price, quality and value for money are taking precedence over sustainability and ethics.

It did reveal 60.2% of those surveyed do still worry about the industry’s effect on the environment and 62.8% claimed they avoid buying fast fashion as a result.

But, as we all know — what fashion consumers say and what they do with their hard-earned money are two very different things.

Shein continues to outpace its competitors in terms of speed, value and let’s face it – designing and manufacturing the must-have items consumers want to show off on TikTok, so it will understandably continue to grab market share.

In contrast, without any form of intervention from global governments and society, cash-strapped fashion consumers’ initial interest and good-will in recycling initiatives could fade away into the distance.

Perhaps France is onto something with its ‘fast fashion tax’ after all?

Top news stories on Just Style last week…

Shein IPO ‘major event’ as ‘extensive’ range bags $2bn profit in 2023

A GlobalData analyst told Just Style exclusively fast fashion giant Shein has managed to ‘establish itself as a serious contender’ in clothing as it considers its next move on IPO.

Textile recycling sector faces imminent collapse, UK warned

Textile Recycling Association (TRA) voiced concerns about the “imminent collapse” of the textile recycling sector due to global market challenges as it calls on the UK government to regulate the industry through an EPR (Extended Producer Responsibility) scheme.

Renewcell receives purchase bids after announcing bankruptcy

The Bankruptcy Trustee for textile-to-textile recycling company Renewcell has confirmed multiple bids have been submitted for the business and assets of its estate.

Superdry future ‘uncertain’ as co-founder steps away from takeover bid

An apparel industry expert has told Just Style exclusively UK fashion retailer Superdry has an “extremely uncertain” future after its co-founder Julian Dunkerton confirmed he does not intend to make an offer for the business.

Lululemon, Samsara Eco unveil enzymatically recycled polyester jacket

Canadian athletic apparel retailer Lululemon has introduced its first product made with enzymatically recycled polyester as part of a multi-year collaboration with Australian enviro-tech startup Samsara Eco.

Bangladesh eyes man-made fibre products to boost garment exports

A recent study by professional service firm Price Waterhouse Cooper (PwC) revealed that ready-made garments (RMG) made from man-made fibres (MMF) will dominate 60% of global garment exports by 2030, an opportunity Bangladesh is hoping to capitalise on.

‘Short-term’ disruption to hosiery supply chain after Taiwan earthquake

The 7.4 magnitude earthquake that struck Taiwan’s east coast on 3 April could see some short-term disruptions to the hosiery supply chain, according to an apparel sourcing expert as the country is a leading sourcing base for many global fashion brands.

France greenlights bill banning PFAS in apparel from 2030

A proposed bill in France to ban products containing per- and polyfluoroalkylated (PFAS) substances or “forever chemicals” has received approval with the ban for apparel expected to take effect from 1 January 2030.