Circular fashion is a system that considers the lifecycle of clothing items at every step of the process. The final steps in the circular fashion model are crucial: reuse and recycle. While we are all familiar with the selling on Depop, Ebay or donating to charity shops, what would it be like if we could send our worn items back to the supplier?
More and more fashion brands are introducing take-back schemes in order to facilitate the recycling of their items. The goal is to reduce the amount of clothing waste entering landfills every year, and, there is nobody better to recycle the fabrics than the companies who manufactured them in the first place.
Here are four brands that offer take-back schemes to their customers:
Australian-owned A.BCH describes itself as a ‘circular fashion label’. For every five hundred grams of old A.BCH clothes packaged and returned, customers will receive $10 store credit. Depending on its condition, the items will be mended for future resale, deconstructs to create new ones and recycled into fibre. There is no set afterlife for your clothing garments, which makes A.BCH’s recycling scheme special.
Girlfriend design pieces in a circular way, meaning that ease of recycling is considered from the outset. An eco-conscious design process allows Girlfriend to deconstruct and recycle their items in the most efficient way. In the USA, customers are encouraged to send back their old Girlfriend active-wear to their recycling centre. Unlike other brands, where the fabric is recycled to produce fibres, Girlfriend transform old items into new gear. As a thank you, the brand reward customers with $15 store credit.
In the UK, vegan footwear brand Trash Planet invite customers to give back. The brand already creates shoes from post-consumer polyester, biodegradable insoles and recycled materials. Now, the brand wants customers to be part of the recycling journey. When your shoes are beyond repair, Trash Planet will happily receive them in exchange for £15 store credit. According to their website, the condition of your shoes doesn’t matter, as they will be dismantled and remoulded.
Reformation x THREDUP is for all kinds of clothes. Unlike other take-back schemes, the fashion label do not specify that garments have to be Reformation branded. Around 40% of clothes returned to Reformation meet their reuse standards, such as no holes, alterations or strains, and the rest are responsibly recycled. For accepted items, the THREDUP scheme offers customers up to 80% of the retail price.
With brands now offering incentives for consumers to return their items, rather than landfill them, the lifecycle of garments can be prolonged. Fashion brands and customers have to work together as part of the circular fashion economy.