The future of fashion is circular. This is the clear ambition of the EU. In 2020 and 2021 the EU published the Circular Economy Action Plan and the EU Commission published their EU Strategy for Sustainable and Circular Textiles. In BESTSELLER, we want to be part of this journey and prepare our products for the circular future envisioned by the EU. Therefore, we have developed our Circular Design Guide. The guide is an internal document for all designers and product developers across brands on how to design and create with circularity in mind.
The future of fashion is circular. This is the clear ambition of the EU. In 2020 and 2021 the EU published the Circular Economy Action Plan and the EU Commission published their EU Strategy for Sustainable and Circular Textiles. As the names of the strategies say, circularity is a core part of the EU ambitions, with the following goals for 2030:
- “The circular textiles ecosystem is thriving, driven by sufficient capacities for innovative fibre-to-fibre recycling, while the incineration and landfilling of textiles is reduced to the minimum.”
- “Textile products placed on the EU market are long-lived and recyclable, to a great extent made of recycled fibres, free of hazardous substances and produced in respect of social rights and the environment.”
A circular system consists of several elements all contributing and playing together to form a complete and effective circular system. Reducing the amount of textile waste and good recycling of the textile waste are fundamental and important elements of the system, specifically highlighted by in the EU Strategy for Sustainable and Circular Textiles.
- “The EU Strategy for Sustainable and Circular Textiles sets out the vision and concrete actions to ensure that by 2030 textile products placed on the EU market are long-lived and recyclable.”
The design of the product is front and center to achieve these ambitions. This is where it all starts. Products that are designed and manufactured with circularity in mind are essential to make sure that the products can actually function in a circular system. Durability and recyclability play critical parts of that design process. More durable products will potentially last longer and thereby reduce the amount of textile waste, and recyclable products can be recycled more easily, which is essential to make them into new textile fibres again.
The importance of the design choices is also underlined in the Textile Strategy:
- “Extending the life of textile products is the most effective way of significantly reducing their impact on the climate and the environment.”
- “While sorting and advanced recycling technologies need to be further developed, improving product design is the first step to address technical challenges”
- “The key objective will be to create an economy for collection, sorting, reuse, preparation for reuse and recycling, as well as incentives for producers and brands to ensure that their products are designed in respect of circularity principles”
In BESTSELLER, we want to be part of this journey and prepare our products for the circular future envisioned by the EU. Therefore, we have developed our Circular Design Guide. The guide is an internal document for all designers and product developers across brands on how to design and create with circularity in mind.
With our Circular Design Guide, we want to optimise resources throughout the entire value chain and prepare for a circular future where recycling is the standard. For BESTSELLER, this entails considering all decisions made at each stage of the value cycle – from raw material, over production, through use and until recycling.
The Circular Design Guide is, therefore, built up around these four value stages that each have goals and tangible strategies that product developers can make use of.
When choosing raw materials, the advice is to use renewable, safe, and/ or recycled materials as they have a lower environmental impact than conventional ones. For the production stage, it is recommended that resources are optimized by amongst others minimizing cut-off waste, while design processes should be digitized to limit the need for physical samples.
Longevity of a product in the use phase is equally important and tangible strategies such as designing for physical or aesthetic durability are described in detail. Lastly, the Circular Design Guide explains how to design for recyclability. To find the best ‘recipes for recycling’ we have reached out to recyclers within our scope and asked them about their preferred material composition, layering and trims.
The ultimate goal of the Circular Design Guide is to make sure that the products that BESTELLER brands produce are fit for a circular future where all resources continuously flow in a closed loop – it being within the textile industry or in other industries where used textile can be a valuable resource. To do this we need our entire supply chain on board.
In BESTSELLER, Preparing for a circular future is defined as “a systemic shift that brings forward new ways of using and designing clothing. From the outset, the design should ensure that the product can be part of a circular system. This means that products should be made from the approved Fashion FWD materials, be designed for optimal use of resources, last as long as possible and be recyclable"