10 Fashion Brands That Contribute to a Circular Economy
What is Circularity?
The key underlying principles of circularity are elimination of waste and pollution, circulation of products and materials (at their highest value), and regeneration of nature. Brands selling consumer goods can focus on eliminating waste and reintroducing end-of-life products to the supply chain. Circularity can appear in different stages of the supply chain, such as using biodegradable or reusable packaging materials, incentivizing consumers to return the end products for recycling, and/or reusing waste as new raw material. In addition, innovative waste management solutions like TerraCycle and Loop allow brands and retailers to give new life to a wide range of products.
The role of consumers
Consumers and companies alike influence the demand for circular products by reimagining the decisions made by parties involved in supply chains and product design. In Europe, circular-economy product segments are already poised to increase in market size by 10-15% by 2030, making it an estimated €400 billion to €650 billion annual opportunity for European companies. Conscious consumer behavior that opts for sustainable products over the status quo will help push circularity to the forefront. Investing in long-lasting products, following local recycling rules, and limiting unnecessary consumption and waste are all ways to extend the life cycle of everyday products that would have otherwise been dumped into landfills.
We believe that circularity is a crucial component of sustainability. Learn more about how these brands are sustainable and contribute to the circular economy on the ConsiderBeyond app.
1. Nudie Jeans
Nudie Jeans aspires to create denim that becomes a part of ourselves. Every pair of Nudie jeans, no matter where you buy them, comes with a promise of free repairs to extend their lifespans, and reduce waste. The brand offers a take-back program for its garment, which will then be reused to create other garments in its collections, as part of Nudie Jeans’ closed-loop material system. As part of its efforts to recycle products after long-term reuse, organic cottons are separated from conventional cotton to improve the recycling process, making the new products both organic and recycled1.
Outerknown’s goal is to make excellent-quality, sustainable products that last a lifetime in order to keep their garments out of landfills and in circulation forever. Partnering with Project Vermont, their circular program, Outerworn, offers customers a chance to buy and sell pre-loved pieces, which will be repurposed into new products. The brand aims to be 100% circular by 2030 2.
WAO sneakers are 97% recyclable and produced in Italy. All suppliers are Italian, meaning that their production chain is short and limits carbon emissions. At the end of each sneaker’s life, WAO will dispose of them for free and provide free collection. Many parts of the sneaker, including the laces, lining, insoles, and hemp, will be composted 3.
Instagram | @seasaltcornwall
Based in | United Kingdom
Shipping | Worldwide
Price Range| $40-275
Inspired by Cornwall’s wild landscape, artistic culture, and maritime heritage, Seasalt aims to create beautiful and useful clothing that customers can enjoy wearing season after season. Their ReLoved take-back scheme makes sure that previously loved items don't end up in landfills. They are committed to zero waste in landfills by the end of 2023, extending this mission to their window displays, which are created using recyclable, reusable, and reclaimed materials that are donated to the community at the end of the season 4.
5. Thinking Mu
Instagram | @thinkingmu
Based in | Spain
Shipping | Worldwide
Price Range | $42-246
Sustainability Certifications | GOTS, GRS, OCS 100
Thinking Mu was founded to contribute to a slower, more conscious consumption system. Their zero-waste initiative Trash makes newly upcycled clothes out of fibers recovered from post-consumer recycled materials along with new sustainable fibers- organic cotton and hemp farmed from ecologically based pest control methods and biological fertilizers to ensure a future for farmers 5.
6. Another Tomorrow
Another Tomorrow is a fashion brand that feels that as creators, it is their obligation to be conscious of the impact their garments have on the environment. Implementing circularity to extend the life of its products, the brand’s Authenticated Resale program is where consumers can resell and buy used garments. Each high-quality garment also contributes to the brand’s circular initiative by being made from materials like GRS recycled cashmere, renewed denim, and recycled polyester buttons 6.
7. Nénés Paris
Instagram | @nenesparis
Based in | France
Shipping | Worldwide
Price Range| $21-155
Nénés Paris offers women environmentally sustainable underwear and swimwear created from 98% recycled materials, helping to reduce water waste and CO2 emissions. These materials include fabric scrapes and end of the roll from textile industry as well as used plastic bottles 7 that are turned into fibers. Each bra is manufactured in Portugal from these recycled fibers and offered in a range of sizes for all different bust sizes from 80A to 90E. To minimize wastefulness from overconsumption, the women-led brand only produces two collections per year.
8. MUD Jeans
Instagram | @mudjeans
Based in | Netherlands
Shipping | Worldwide
Price Range| Rent: $8-18 Buy: $96-215
Sustainability Certifications| B Corp
“Frontrunners in Circular Denim” MUD Jeans bases its business model around circular economy principles. Jeans are produced using 40% recycled denim, and the remaining material is organic cotton by using recycled denim, the brand works to avoid waste and reduce water use and CO2 emission. MUD Jeans are made from high-quality materials to extend the life of their products, but when their time does come, each pair of jeans sent back by the customer is recycled. Additionally, they follow a NOOS (Never out of stock) strategy to reduce waste from overstocking by only having one permanent collection with a few styles 8. The brand introduced the Lease a Jeans model which allows consumers to rent jeans and return them for recycling.
9. Armed Angels
Instagram | @armedangels
Based in | Germany
Shipping | Worldwide
Price Range| $31-360
Sustainability Certifications| GRS
ARMEDANGELS values and implements circular fashion by turning fashion trash into new products. Their Circular Tee and Circular Denim lines allow consumers to become part of circular fashion. The recycled material used in the production of the garments, including recycled cotton, recycled polyamide, and recycled polyester, saves water, energy, fossil fuels, and reduces waste from the textile industry. The brand extends the life of its own production waste by repurposing spinning waste and used textiles 9. At the end of a garment's life, consumers are able to return old ARMEDANGLES clothing for repurposing and receive a discount on their next purchase!
10. Gina Tricot
Instagram | @ginatricot
Based in | Sweden
Shipping | Europe
Price Range| €12-70
Gina Tricot encourages its customers to make more sustainable choices by creating garments that are timeless and long-lasting using at least 50% sustainable fibers to reduce the impact on the environment. Always searching for more sustainable materials, the Sweden-based brand has added alternative fibres like Polylana®, which uses a blend of new and recycled fibers. All garments can be altered or mended to create new styles and extend their lives or can be returned to Gina Tricot for recycling 10. In 2019, they collected 50 tonnes of clothing. Returned defective products are donated to their partners, Human Bridge and Fretex. They also recommend less frequent washing of their garments and encourage the use of more sustainable methods to freshen them up, such as laundry sprays, airing them out, or spot treating.
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