The Asos Circular Design Guidebook was released by online clothes retailer Asos and the Centre for Sustainable Fashion to assist designers, students, and fashion firms in designing and creating fashion products that support the circular economy.
The 112-page interactive resource is the most recent installment of a multi-year partnership between Asos and the Centre for Sustainable Fashion (CSF), a research center based at London College of Fashion, part of the University of the Arts London, that began in 2018. Since the partnership began, all Asos designers and related commercial teams have undergone CSF-developed circular design training, and the online store has also launched its first proof-of-concept for circular design, the Asos Design Circular collection in September 2020.
The guidebook was created to assist designers, brands, and students in making the transition to circular design. It includes a full description of Asos' nine circular design methods, which were developed with the help of CSF and the Ellen MacArthur Foundation's Make Fashion Circular Initiative.
The nine strategies are: innovative materials, recycled materials, minimized waste, zero waste, adaptability, mono-materiality, remanufacture/upcycling, durability, and disassembly.
According to Asos, each of these strategies can assist designers in achieving the Ellen MacArthur Foundation's goal of a circular economy for fashion, in which products are manufactured from safe, recycled, or renewable materials, are used more, and are made to be made again.
The guidebook includes information on each strategy and how brands and designers can put it into practice, as well as a zero-waste cutting guide for creating garments without wasting materials during the pattern cutting process and advice on selecting appropriate materials for circular design products.
There are also details on current recycling techniques offered by the fashion industry, which designers can use to inform their design choices, as well as examples of best practices in a circular design, as part of a larger effort to encourage a pre-competitive approach to circular design within the industry.
Simon Platts, responsible sourcing director at Asos, said that by launching this guidebook with CSF, they can expedite the transition to circular design across the entire fashion sector, vital to achieving the sustainability they all want to see. This comprehensive, accessible, and user-friendly resource will be beneficial to other businesses, designers, and students interested in putting the circular design into practice, and it marks the next stage in their mission to "Be More Circular through Fashion with Integrity."
Professor Dilys Williams, director at the Centre for Sustainable Fashion, said that this handbook builds on a long-term relationship between Asos and the Centre for Sustainable Fashion at London College of Fashion, aiming to shift the direction of fashion. The goals are bold and ambitious; they revolve around respecting nature, which is their only source of wealth, and making it commercially viable and valuable.
Williams added that they're off to a terrific start: nature is the most experienced, brilliant designer we can learn from, and every one of us is a part of nature, so we must ensure that nature flourishes in order for us to thrive. Designing and developing products requires a variety of abilities, including originality and imagination, to better a situation, but it isn't a successful design until it improves people's lives. They harness the capacity to generate substantial change in the industry by making good design their starting point.
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