Wemanage Journal: dataFORMAT Snippets — Circular Fashion in Italy and beyond
The fashion industry is undergoing a profound shift from its traditional linear ‘take-make-dispose’ approach towards a more sustainable circular model. This change isn’t just a passing trend; it’s a crucial response to the escalating environmental impact caused by the industry.
The essence of circular fashion lies in prolonging the lifespan of products and recycling materials once they reach the end of their usefulness. Kantar’s recent BrandZ study revealed that 47% of respondents are now open to repairing their clothes, marking a 5% rise from the previous year. Simultaneously, there’s a notable increase in both the sale (+10.7%) and purchase (+10.6%) of second-hand items.
In Italy, prominent brands have already started integrating circular principles into their practices, yet it’s the smaller players — SMEs, artisans, startups, and boutique brands — that appear to be the most innovative. Noteworthy solutions include producing textile fibers from food waste) and reclaimed ocean plastics. Additionally, the revival of forgotten fabrics, often with historical significance, stored for years in old warehouses, holds great promise.
However, embracing circularity isn’t so easy. One significant challenge is the absence of standardized metrics to quantify environmental impacts. Overcoming scalability issues, technology integration, and shifts in consumer behavior are also key obstacles to address. Despite these difficulties, the potential rewards of circular fashion are substantial. It has the power to significantly decrease the industry’s ecological footprint, foster job creation, and stimulate innovation by inspiring the development of novel materials, processes, and business models.