SR Asia

Circular Fashion: Are You Part of It?

1056 views – The world’s population is growing, so does the need for basic commodities. Unfortunately, essential raw materials are in short supply, and this causes countries to rely on one another. Another issue that has arisen as a result of the growing population is the generation of waste. In Indonesia, garbage is one of major issues. Nationally, garbage production averages at least 200 thousand tons per day or 73 million tons per year.

So, what can be done to address the issue of limited raw materials and waste production?

The concept of a circular economy is seen to be capable of resolving it. A circular economy is a production and consumption model to prevent negative impacts on the environment and society through strategic actions such as sharing, leasing, reusing, repairing, refurbishing, recycling, and up-cycling materials and products as long as possible to extend the life cycle of the products.

In the practice of circular economy, waste is kept to a bare minimum. When a product reaches the end of its useful life, initiatives and processes on material are taken effectively to create further value. This is what distinguishes the circular economy from the traditional linear economy, which is based on a “take-make-waste” pattern.

The circular economy is able to provide many benefits in various industries. The fashion industry is no exception, as so we called “circular fashion”, lately known as “sustainable fashion”. The term “circular fashion” was first introduced by Anna Brismar and H&M in 2014, when the concept of circular economy was firmly on the political agenda in Sweden and other European countries.

“Circular fashion can be defined as clothes, shoes, or accessories that are designed, sourced, produced, and provided with the intention to be used and circulate responsibly and effectively in society for as long as possible in their most valuable form, and hereafter return safely to the biosphere when no longer of human use (Anna Brismar, 2017).”

The key principles of circular fashion as said by Dr. Brismar are design, source, and collaboration. By design, all fashion products should be made to be biodegradable, recyclable, or combination. Source means the manufacturers should strive to source and produce locally, thereby benefiting the local community in an environmentally and socially responsible manner. Finally, by collaborating, the brands, the manufacturers, and the consumers should cooperate to reduce waste wherever possible.

So, how can we apply a lifestyle that fits circular fashion?  There are 5 ways to do so!

  1. Shop second-hand

Thrift shops on Instagram or consignment stores are the best place to find second-hand clothes. The items here are clothes from the fast fashion stores from a few seasons ago, so you will find them at lower prices!

  1. Shop from circular fashion store/brand

You can peek at some local clothing stores or young designer products. Some of them are trying to implement a circular fashion system, which involves using recycled materials in their products.

  1. Never throw away your clothes

When you have unworn items in good condition, throwing away your clothes in the rubbish bin is not a wise option.  They can be donated to charity or sent to a third party. The third-party will clean, resell, recycle, or up-cycle them. 

  1. Try to avoid microfibers and prioritize organic materials instead

Microfibers can be found in fabrics such as nylon and polyester. This material tends to end up polluting the oceans and extremely hard to be cleaned up due to the size of their particles. To be more eco-friendly, try to buy natural fabric clothes, made of organic cotton, wool, silk, and cashmere. They may be a bit overpriced, but it’s worth buying!

  1. Take care of your items

Taking care of your items is the most sustainable thing that you can do. This action will result in buying less. You can try checking the care label on each garment, don’t over-wash your clothes, use the right detergent, and treat stains straight away.

In summary, moving towards a circular fashion is not an option. It is one of essential ways to reach a sustainable future. Are you ready to be part of the change and join the circular fashion system?