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What is Circular Fashion?

History of Circular Fashion

“Circular fashion" was first coined by two actors in 2014, almost at the same time and apart from each other. Anna Brismar was one of them. Anna came up with the term "circular fashion" at an early project meeting in June 2014, when she was getting ready for a sustainable fashion event in the center of Stockholm. Anna looked all over the Internet that night when she got home to see if the term "circular fashion" had been used before, but she couldn't find it anywhere. After a few days, Anna decided to tell everyone about the term. 

Later, the H&M presenter told Anna in a private conversation that the Sustainability team at H&M had been using the Swedish word for "circular fashion" for about a month or two before the event on Gotland. As circular fashion shows, the time was right for the two ideas of circular economy and sustainable fashion to come together. In 2014, the idea of a circular economy sailed onto the political agenda in Sweden and other European countries, and the term "circular fashion" took off. (1)

Definition of Circular Fashion

In simpler terms, circular fashion is when clothes/fabrics get reused and recycled many times throughout their lifetime. So instead of the normal fashion model of making, buying, and trashing; circular fashion tries to go for a more sustainable fashion mentality of reusing and recycling. The benefit of this type of mentality is that the world doesn’t have to make as many clothing items. This leads to less workload for workers and less pollution being thrown out into the world in the form of water pollution, air pollution, textile waste, etc… 

You might be asking “Circular fashion seems amazing and helps the environment, but how can I contribute?” To answer that question here are a few things you can do to contribute to circular fashion and save the world:

Buying Second-Hand to Contribute to Circular Fashion:

Finding, selling, and buying vintage and worn clothing is another option for customers and businesses in the fashion industry to minimize the amount of textile waste produced by the industry. Getting a bigger collection of vintage and pre-owned garments reduces the amount of clothing that would otherwise be thrown away.

Charity stores are one of the most popular places where people can buy previously loved clothing. Although people can buy used clothing directly from a store or via an online resale platform, these options are not as widespread as charity stores and other consignment stores. Buying from charity stores also takes away the carbon emissions that are made by buying the new clothes and shipping them, and provides a way for individuals to help communities who may have been hurt because of the negative consequences of fast fashion.

Tailoring Your Clothes is Part of Circular Fashion:

Tailoring your clothes is one of the best ways to make your clothes have a much longer lifespan. For example, if you have a really nice pair of jeans that are comfortable, look nice, and pretty much check all the boxes then you can get them tailored if they rip. The best part is that if you have some expensive clothes from designer brands, tailoring helps you preserve your look for much longer without paying an arm and a leg if an accident happens. In fact, tailoring can make your clothes look better because you get the professionally tailored look. In fact, if you are a busy person and don’t have time to go to the tailor you can get your clothes tailored online which means you’re saving time and money. Tailoring not only makes your good quality clothes last much longer for a fraction of the price of buying new ones but is also better for the environment than buying new clothes. That way you can buy the really nice clothes you want, wear them longer, and contribute to circular fashion all while saving money. You are a real life superhero, saving money and the world.

In conclusion, if you want to spend money and save the world (and the turtles) then circular fashion is the way to go.

Circular Fashion Sources:

  1. “What Is Circular Fashion? – Green Strategy.” Green Strategy, Accessed 15 Jan. 2023.

  1. Nast, Condé. “Circular Fashion: Exciting to Talk About, Tough to Implement.” Vogue Business, 12 May 2022,

  1. “7 Sustainable Habits to Encourage Circular Fashion.” 7 Sustainable Habits to Encourage Circular Fashion, Accessed 15 Jan. 2023.

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