Backed by some of the world’s leading fashion brands, The Fashion ReModel Initiative explores ways to make money without making new clothes, as it looks to progress circular business models.

Arc’teryx, ARKET, COS, H&M Group, Primark, Reformation, WEEKDAY, and Zalando are among the first participants in the Foundation-led demonstration project. The initiative will identify solutions and overcome challenges to begin to decouple revenue from the production of new garments, advancing the long-term journey to make a circular economy for fashion a reality.

The Ellen MacArthur Foundation notes today’s fashion industry largely operates on a take-make-waste model meaning millions of tonnes of clothing are produced, worn, and discarded every year. Clothing production continues to grow with 100bn new clothes put on the market every year – yet truckloads of garments end up in landfills or are incinerated every second.

Circular business models such as rental, resale, repair, and remaking are designed to keep products in use. A recent study from the Foundation estimated that it could claim 23% of the global fashion market by 2030, representing a $700bn opportunity to transform the future of fashion.

The Foundation – an international charity dedicated to accelerating the transition to a circular economy – hopes the project will provide the starting point to transform how business is done with the support of policymakers in fashion.

Ellen MacArthur Foundation fashion lead Jules Lennon said: “Through their participation in The Fashion ReModel, this group of organisations are taking the next step on the road towards a circular economy for fashion.

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“In order to challenge conventional linear models and create a new normal, brands must decouple revenue from production by accelerating efforts to redesign the products of the future, as well as rethinking the services and business models which deliver them to customers and keep them in use.

“The fashion industry is rooted in reinvention and we welcome business-led action towards a world where, instead of being worn once and discarded, clothes can be used many more times and threaded through the lives of more people.”

The Foundation believes that the shared learnings and experiences will forge the path towards a more resilient fashion industry.

H&M Group head of sustainability Leyla Ertur said: “We’re looking forward to working with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation again. The Jeans Redesign pushed us to explore what circular design could mean for our product assortment and now The Fashion ReModel is set to do the same with circular business models.

“The opportunity presented by decoupling the fashion industry’s growth from resource use is huge and this project can help us better understand how to further scale these models.”

ReBIRD vice president at Arc’teryx Dominique Showers added: “Arc’teryx is committed to a circular future, building products to last and equipping our guests with the tools and education to keep their gear in play.

“We’re excited to be one of the first participants to join the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s demonstration project, The Fashion ReModel, to reimagine circularity for the outdoor industry, rethinking the way we approach design and waste to build a future in which everything we create can be given a second life.”