Circular Toolbox to assist circular business models of fashion brands

YarnsandFibers News Bureau 2021-04-09 09:33:23 – Netherlands

Circular Toolbox is a resource developed by Circle Economy to assist fashion brands engaging in circular business models that prolong the useful life of clothing in designing and launching a rental or resale business model pilot on their own in under a year. Circle Economy is a non-profit organization that assists companies, towns, and governments in transitioning to a circular economy.

The Circular Toolbox is a downloadable, step-by-step guide available online. Apparel brands of all sizes involved in circular business models that prolong the useful life of their products can now use Circle Economy's "Circular Toolbox" to launch a rental or resale pilot in less than a year.

Circular business models, such as resale and rental, enable brands to innovate their business model while still extending the practical service life of clothing, enabling them to do more for less. They will also help to reduce the industry's overall environmental effects if they are intelligently designed.

Circle Textiles program associate at Circle Economy, Hélene Smits said that the emphasis on recycled fabrics has overshadowed the fashion industry's sustainability activities so far. While this is an effective driver for impact reduction, with an increasing population that consumes at a breakneck pace, it's becoming apparent that simply switching to renewable materials will not suffice.

She adds that one of the most important ways to reduce the overall impact of the textile industry is to increase the use of their fabrics. This is what the resale, rental, and subscription models promise to do: Provide paths to decouple development from resource usage by optimizing the lifespan and productive use of garments.

The Circular Toolbox—and the circular creativity process it supports—aims to make it as simple as possible for fashion brands to implement circular business models by supplying them with the resources they need and a consistent process and timeline to execute.

Circle Textiles program lead at Circle Economy, Gwen Cunningham said that there are several guides to circular business models available, but few have the degree of detail required by apparel brands to go from A to Z and plan and launch a concept. There are many consultancies that can offer more personalized assistance to brands interested in exploring circularity, but this is not a viable choice for most SMEs. In the Circular Toolbox, they want to break down such hurdles for as many brands as possible, providing them with a one-stop-shop where they can independently fuel circular business model growth.

The online toolbox walks users through a five-step circular innovation process, from getting top-level approval to forming a team to bringing a new idea into action.

Resources include design thinking and research tools, workshop sheets and facilitator’s guides, a podcast highlighting brands who have been through the same process, and, most importantly, detailed advice about how and what to use each tool are all available as resources.

The Switching Gear project, which led four brands - Asket, Lindex, ETP, and Kuyichi - through the production and launch of circular business model pilots, put the circular innovation process described in the toolbox to the test. The Laudes Foundation is supporting the Switching Gear project, which is part of the Bridging the Gap campaign, which is a consortium of 6 organizations working to stimulate sector-wide cooperation, promote new solutions, and develop best practices to encourage the adoption of circular business models in the fashion supply chain.

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