• A group of apparel firms have partnered with Circle Economy to develop a tool for the industry.
  • The Circle Fashion Tool will enable businesses to move from circular intent to circular action.
  • It will help brands evaluate the end of life options and circular opportunities for their own textile excess.
The Circle Fashion Tool will enable businesses to move from circular intent to circular action

The Circle Fashion Tool will enable businesses to move from circular intent to circular action

Apparel giant VF Corp has partnered with textile firm Auping, denim major Orta Anadolu and Dutch social enterprise Circle Economy to develop a circular decision making tool for the fashion and textiles industry.

With the support of the C&A Foundation, the Circle Fashion Tool will enable businesses to move from circular intent to circular action, the companies say, empowering brands to move from the 'why' to the 'how'.

Effectively a decision making tool, it will help brands evaluate the end of life options and circular opportunities for their own textile excess and weigh the practical implications and environmental and economic impact between scenarios.

The Circle Fashion Tool aims to:

  • Support brands in creating insight into their textile waste streams, set smart targets, benchmark performance and track progress over time.
  • Educate brands on what circular opportunities are available to them and assess which are the best fit for their business.
  • Connect with relevant partners in order to operationalise selected circular opportunities.
  • Enable brands to model the practical implications (business and environmental case) of their chosen circular opportunities.

"Despite best intentions, the majority of textiles is currently still downcycled or incinerated at end of life," the companies say. "We are producing and consuming at an ever-increasing pace - global consumption has doubled in the last fourteen years - and at that same time, consumers are using their garments for half as long. While an increasing number of companies recognise the logic of closing the loop, there is a significant lack of evidence on the trade-offs between circular and linear business models. Therefore, many companies, unwillingly, are in 'sit and wait' mode."

The global partners will work closely with Circle Economy to provide feedback on the concept and the functionalities of the Circle Fashion Tool, enabling the development team to align with market demand and test the tool on real-life scenarios.

The firms have also joined Circle Economy's membership community. The Textiles Programme is focused on developing the system innovations necessary to close the loop within the industry. Together with its members, the programme produces the critical data, tools, technology and business models that are building the new foundation for a circular textiles industry. Over the years the team has established there is a lack of effective decision making tools in industry that are focused on circularity.

Circle Economy is opening the Circle Fashion Tool for further testing later in 2018. Brands interested in becoming early adopters are being urged to apply.

Transitioning to a circular fashion system has become an increasingly important topic for the industry and one many brands and retailers are now taking on board.

The Ellen MacArthur Foundation recently inked a new agreement with the United Nations Environment Programme (UN Environment), the leading global environment authority, to scale up and accelerate the shift towards a circular economy. While a new online platform was announced this week by a non-profit organisation in the Netherlands that aims to mobilise a global community of cities, businesses, and citizens to solve universal challenges with circular solutions.

MacArthur partners with UN to drive circular initiative

New online platform to drive circular economy