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Why the circular economy is the ideal solution for the fashion industry




According to European Commission the average European throws away 11 kg of textiles every year. Around the world, a truckload of textiles is landfilled or incinerated every second. Excessive consumption associated with throwaway culture and the throwaway nature of fashion remains problematic. Overproduction, overstocking and overproduction leads to more fashion waste, leading to serious environmental problems. Clearly, the urgent need to take responsibility lies with fashion brands, retailers, their business partners and their customers.

Drivers of sustainability legislation

New proposals in Europe signal a change for fashion. For example, there is now clearer information and a digital product passport based on mandatory circularity information requirements. New design requirements are available for fashion under the Ecodesign regulations for sustainable products. Plus: looking at reducing fashion waste, plastic-free oceans, and cracking down on greenwashing.

MORE FORBESSAP BrandVoice: The Right Fit: Fashion and Footwear Take Big Steps Towards Sustainability

Seeking to tackle the fashion industry’s overproduction crisis, governments around the world, especially those in EU countries, are developing new laws, rules, regulations and enforcement systems. Force change in business models and customer habits. According to Euromonitor: In 2020, the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) launched the traceability initiative to accelerate the transition of fashion industries towards more sustainable and circular business models; and in 2021, sustainability commitment to measure the environmental impact of companies in the fashion industry.

The European Parliament has voted in favor of proposed legislation to make companies responsible for their environmental and social impact. And the UK is preparing new green marketing guidelines (a new Green claim code) and the adoption of new regulations on the disclosure of climate-related risks for listed companies.

MORE FORBESSAP BrandVoice: How to create sustainable fashion from recycled clothing

By creating a greener and more competitive fashion sector, the European Commission has adopted the EU strategy for sustainable and circular textiles in March 2022. Which is anchored among various other EU initiatives such as the Circular Economy Action Plan (CEAP), the Sustainable Products Initiative (SPI) and the New consumer agendaderived from European Green Deal adopted in 2020. These proposed policies aim to change how apparel, textiles and footwear are designed, produced and managed at end of life, and what is communicated to customers.

Fast fashion is out of fashion

Customers increasingly want fashion brands and their business partners to be interested in more than revenue and profit. But instead of pointing fingers at what’s wrong with the fashion system, what about overconsumption? Requiring behavior change: instead of driving demand, how about driving supply with all the junk? The former. And the forgotten ones. Turning fashion waste into resources. And customers turn into business partners. Committed and loyal, for the long term.

The EU strategy offers actions for the entire fashion life cycle, while supporting the fashion ecosystem in the green and digital transition. This raises questions: is there an appetite for a transition to sustainable and circular business models? Is there a willingness to engage in collaboration with business partners to fight against fashion waste? A need for digital transformation, which are often seen as both triggers and enablers of circular business models through data collection, integration and analysis features? It is crucial to get answers, to develop new ideas in a collective effort to open the doors to a more sustainable fashion future.

Be part of the solution

I look forward to your experience participating in my qualitative research investigation. Let’s explore the current state and strategic direction of circular business model operations and innovation to explain the complexity of circular fashion retail. Want to know more about this research study? please watch this video. And do not hesitate to contact me via LinkedIn.




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