Circular fashion

We’re driving the transition to circular fashion by nurturing and scaling solutions

It is time to rethink apparel and move towards a new kind of industry. One that uses and reuses safe materials. One that restores and regenerates ecosystems. One that provides dignified work for people making products that are “made to be made again".

This is the philosophy of a circular economy. For the fashion industry to become circular, each part of the business model must change.

Every actor has a role to play. We are here to support this transition by nurturing and scaling innovative solutions that can change the way our clothes are made, used, and reused.

We believe that now is the time for a circular fashion, with an industry that restores and regenerates the environment

Douwe Jan Joustra, Head of Circular Transformation

The problem

The apparel industry is beset by major environmental challenges. Too often unregulated, hazardous chemicals are used and subsequently released into our environment, causing harm to ecosystems and people.

Little is being done to conserve and protect water, our most precious resource. Factories are commonly powered by fossil-fuel sources. And an overwhelming volume of fibre, the sector's most valuable raw material, is sent to landfill or incinerated after its use as garments.

Despite the shared concern about these issues, the industry has been slow to change. We lack a shared vision, aligned incentives and the technical solutions and new business models needed to address this.

The opportunity

Circular economy thinking is redesigning the apparel industry to make it work for the people and ecosystems it touches. It challenges the industry on its material choices, chemical choices, manufacturing choices, and retail and use choices.

A system in which safe materials are used endlessly, water is restored and energy is clean, allows the apparel sector to be a force for good.

C&A Foundation will accelerate this new system by enabling best practice today and supporting the innovation of tomorrow.

Best practice – Creating the conditions

Innovation – Building the new

Hazardous chemicals and water pollution are critical roadblocks to circular apparel and are high on the industry's agenda.

Major players are coming together through collaborative initiatives such as Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals.

We support such collaboration and are working with several industry platforms to accelerate their work and lay the foundations for circular business models.

There is no shortage of innovation in this industry, from waterless dyeing to chemical recycling. Yet many of these solutions are not being embedded into supply chains.

We believe that more needs to be done to support late-stage innovators and scale up their new technologies and business models.

With other core founding partners, we created Fashion for Good an initiative to support innovative circular business models, while bringing brands, retailers, manufactures, multi-stakeholder initiatives, and investors together to work towards a shared vision for the future of apparel.

A Daughter's Sacrifice

A fair, prosperous, sustainable cotton industry is possible

The most stimulating challenge of my life

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Life After Forced Labour: The fish farmer

Life After Forced Labour: Mrs. Mariyasanthi and the rice cooker

Handmade

Life After Forced Labour: Longing to go to school

Thavasimadai, India

Age-old problems, new solutions

A Farmer's Organic Mission for Good

You must educate your children

Meet Aklima

Dhaka, Bangladesh

Immigrants must follow their dreams

Brazil

Returning to their traditions

More than organic cotton

Building a new cotton conscience together in China

China

Journey of discovery

Dhaka, Bangladesh

Life After Forced Labour: The rose farmers

Wisdom rooted in Customs

Chiapas, Mexico

A fair, prosperous, sustainable cotton industry is possible

A Farmer's Organic Mission for Good

Returning to their traditions

More than organic cotton

Age-old problems, new solutions

Handmade

Building a new cotton conscience together in China

China

Wisdom rooted in Customs

Chiapas, Mexico

You must educate your children

The most stimulating challenge of my life

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Immigrants must follow their dreams

Brazil

Journey of discovery

Dhaka, Bangladesh

A Daughter's Sacrifice

Life After Forced Labour: The fish farmer

Life After Forced Labour: Mrs. Mariyasanthi and the rice cooker

Life After Forced Labour: Longing to go to school

Thavasimadai, India

Life After Forced Labour: The rose farmers

Meet Aklima

Dhaka, Bangladesh

Partners