At the moment, the fashion industry is very much a linear process of take, make and waste. We take raw materials (eg cotton), make them into clothing and textiles and once they are no longer required or wearable they ultimately end up as waste in landfill.
Alarmingly, Australians are currently disposing of 6,000kg of fashion and textile waste every 10 minutes, according, to the ABC's War on Waste Program. When you consider that it takes 2,700 litres of water to make one cotton T-shirt (which is enough drinking water for one person for 2.5 years), as reported by the WWF, it pretty clear that this current model is resource intensive, highly polluting and completely unsustainable.
The problem is, clothing is a fairly essential item in life, required by almost every person on the planet. So what do we do? Overconsumption and fast fashion are two issues that contribute a whole lot to this glut of fashion and textile waste ending up in landfill. But even if we consumed less, the linear model is still completely flawed.
The concept of circular fashion is to take-make-use and then return/repurpose or recycle once the item is no longer required. It removes waste completely from the equation. This is not a new concept by any means. However, it is gaining more attention as people become more aware of their own environmental footprints and more conscious of the environmental challenges and legacies left facing our younger generations.
I've shared two of my favourite quotes about circular fashion from Kate Kreba and Peter Seegar below. What these highlight is that waste can essentially be removed from the process during the design phase. Clothing and textiles need to be designed with their next life in mind, rather than an end of life. This is what makes to model circular.
However, looking beyond the design process, circular fashion is not just the responsibility of fashion brands and labels. We can all participate. Here are a few ways:
Consume less, buy only what you need and don't buy things just because they're on sale.
Really consider what happens to your clothes once you've finished using them. Only things that are still fit for wear should be placed into charity bins. Otherwise you're just making your fashion waste someone else's problem.
Consider supporting businesses like Upparel if you're based in Australia. Package up to 10kg of clothes and textiles that you no longer require (in any condition) and for a small fee a courier will come and collect them from your door and Upparel take care of the rest. This is a really innovative service being offered and I'm so excited to see where it leads.
Consider renting or buy and return services…this is where we come in! Kids and babies especially grow out of their clothes so quickly. We want to give our customers access to a carefully curated, gorgeous and sustainable wardrobe that grows with your kids. So that you can save money, time, space in your home and reduce waste.
So please come along for the ride, join us on instagram @curiouskind_au and sign up to the mailing list on our website. We'll keep you up to date with news about us and information on our launch.