Rethinking business models for a thriving fashion industry
Circular business models for fashion, which are designed to make revenue without making new...
For decades, jeans have been at the heart of countless fashion collections. However, they are no exception to the fashion industry’s take-make-waste approach. Making jeans requires large amounts of resources, such as pesticides, water, and energy, and the way they’re designed and constructed makes them difficult to remake and after use.
Redesigning this iconic fashion staple is the perfect starting point on the journey towards a circular economy for fashion, where products are designed to be:
Made to be made again
Made from safe and recycled or renewable inputs
The Jeans Redesign demonstrates how jeans can be designed and made for a circular economy.
The guidelines - developed with input from 80 experts across industry, academia, and NGOs, encourage leading brands, mills, and manufacturers to transform the way jeans are designed and made.
The first redesigned jeans using the guidelines were brought to market in June 2021. Today, 100+ organisations from more than 25 countries across the industry have redesigned jeans - moving beyond theoretical discussions, learning by doing, testing new solutions, and overcoming innovation gaps.
Shared learnings and transparency are an important part of the project. Participants are required to publicly update on their progress and to show the methods they have used to meet the guidelines. In 2021, the guidelines ‘minimum bar’ was raised to increase the level of ambition and drive the industry forward.
The project’s latest Insights Report (2021-2023), reveals the solutions, innovation gaps and remaining barriers faced by participants.
Over the past two years, leading brands in the fashion industry have redesigned and transformed over 1.5 million pairs of jeans into garments that are more durable, have more transparent sourcing of materials, are easier to recycle, and are made using safe materials and processes.
But jeans are just the start. Participants are increasingly applying circular economy principles to other garments, proving circular design can become the norm.
Industry and policymakers can take learnings and apply them to all garments. Then we must not only reimagine the products of the future, but also redesign the services, business models, and supply chains to deliver them and ensure our clothes are kept in use.
Jeans were always intended to be the start of this journey. By redesigning products so they are fit for a , we are making progress. But to truly challenge conventional linear models at scale we must go beyond redesigning products. We need to redesign the services, supply chains, and business models that deliver garments and keep them in use. The path forward is clear. It’s time to step up the pace and scale of progress.
- Jules Lennon, Fashion Initiative Lead, Ellen MacArthur Foundation