A few months ago, the British online fashion and cosmetics retailer ASOS launched its first circular collection, which includes clothing and accessories designed and manufactured to meet industry-leading circularity principles with no compromise on product or price.
With this collection, the brand hopes to dispel the myth that circular and sustainable clothing cannot be fashionable.
The announcement follows the company’s pledge at the 2018 Copenhagen Fashion Summit to train all of its designers in circular design by 2020. Since then, ASOS, one of the world’s leading online fashion retailers, has developed and launched a training programme in collaboration with the Centre for Sustainable Fashion, a division of London College of Fashion, which has since been rolled out to all ASOS designers.
ASOS is also a member of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s (EMF) Make Fashion Circular initiative, which promotes collaboration among industry leaders and other key stakeholders.
ASOS defined eight bespoke design principles to create the collection:
It entails using zero-waste pattern-cutting methods to ensure that all fabric is used as efficiently as possible.
Using waste-reduction techniques in manufacturing.
Creating products that can be styled and adapted in a variety of ways.
Choosing materials with a recycled input to reduce material impact and drive uptake of recycled materials in the fashion industry.
Using the same recyclable material throughout a garment, allowing the garment’s main fabrications to be easily recycled at the end of its life.
Creating products that can be easily disassembled at the end of their lives, making them easier to reuse or recycle.
Durability refers to the selection of materials and construction methods that will allow garments to withstand wear and care, allowing them to last longer.
The process of remanufacturing and upcycling something old into something new through the use of design and product modifications.
These eight principles are consistent with the EMF’s three circular economy foundations: eliminating waste and pollution, keeping products and materials in use, and regenerating natural systems.
To be considered circular, each product in the collection must apply design principles that meet at least two of these foundations, implying that they will be in use for as long as possible, can be reused or repurposed at the end of their lives, and generate as little waste as possible.