Juli 04, 2022

Circular economy in fashion

As we know, the fashion industry is one of the most polluting in the world (it is considered the 4th largest in terms of greenhouse gas emissions). In Europe (according to data from the European Commission), we are talking about 11kg of waste per capita per year.  This is an alarming data, also because it has been growing sharply in recent years and - according to all forecasts - is destined to grow further due in particular to FastFashion (by 2020, according to an estimate by Mc-Kinsey and the World Economic Forum, the production of clothes will at least double). The crucial point is that the industry's Business Model itself is based on the principle of waste and time-limited use of each garment (hence the continuous presentation and production of new collections).

During the Monte Carlo Fashion Week in May 2022 - which makes the focus on circular economy and ethical fashion one of its hallmarks - we talked about this topic at the conference "Circular economy and sustainability" during "The Responsible Fashion Meetings" with Matteo Ward, Annabelle Jaeger (Seydoux), Claudio Betti (Camera Buyer Italia), Alexis Giannotti, Ines Bensalah, and Verabuccia.

The topic, going down from the general principle - on which we all tend to agree - of the decrease or cancellation of the sector's carbon footprint to the level of what to do, is obviously very complex and it is interpreted differently by different luxury and sustainable fashion brands.  Introducing and making concrete principles such as “cost-per-use” (to value durable and “timeless” products) rather than the use of raw materials from renewable sources or recycled materials. The large groups are committing themselves (also because they are forced to do so by the growing attention of both legislators and public opinion, less so at the moment, it would seem, by the choices of consumers) to projects in this field, setting themselves goals for the use of different materials, for a “ban” on the use of certain raw materials (e.g. fur) or financing start-up projects in this field, in some cases being accused of #greenwashing by activists.

Reflecting on the issue, it seems to us that - as often in deep and long-term processes of change in society – “radical” approaches are being confronted with “reformist” approaches, not counting of course the “indifferent”, the silent majority.

The question that remains unanswered is the one Giorgio Armani asked some time ago: "Is it possible to reform the system?". Is it possible to return to a fashion system on a human scale?

As Regenesi, we have been interpreting the dilemma since our inception in 2008, applying the idea of circularity in the fashion and design sector by pursuing the principles of upcycling, trying to use waste materials - often regenerated through innovative industrial processes - to create new products of higher value,having particularly worked on the concept of eco-friendly bags.

We work to add to the 3 Rs of sustainability(Reduce, Re-use, Recycle) those of Re-think and Re-design.

Upcycling offers a concrete alternative, transforming textile waste and used clothing (but not only) into fashion or design accessories with high symbolic value.

 In this way we help the industry to develop more sustainable production methods and at the same time stimulate consumers to become conscious towards a new way of shopping and a new way to live “beauty”.   We prefer to say “a world where beauty is sustainable”.

We realise that circularity is often a problem of perspective with which we look at the world of fashion. The poet said - much better than we do - that “the true voyage of discovery does not consist in seeking new lands, but in having new eyes”.


And you want to try to make a sustainability project concrete?