Amsterdam, 2 May 2019 - Today, Circle Economy announces the strategic partnership of Fashion for Good, the global initiative to make all fashion good, with its Switching Gear project. The initiative aims to accelerate re-commerce and rental business models in the apparel industry. The project will work with 6 brands on a circular innovation process that will help them to design and launch these new types of business model pilots by 2021.
Through this partnership, Circle Economy and Fashion for Good will establish a powerful, global network of over 50 frontrunning solution providers and innovators, brands, and rental and re-commerce experts to exchange insights and tangible solutions to move the apparel industry towards circular business models that can create a positive impact for people and the environment.
Circle Economy proudly confirms the following first founding members of the Enabling Network: Eileen Fisher,Gibbon, MUD jeans, Reflaunt, RePack, Stuffstr, Style Lend, The Next Closet, The Renewal Workshop.
The past two decades have seen a dramatic decrease in the amount of times clothes are worn. Coupled with a shift towards fast fashion, average consumers today buy 60% more items than they did 15 years ago and wear them for half as long. 70% of closets usually go unworn and it is estimated that 33% of women wear items as little as 5 times before disposing of them.
The network will work to bring the topic of apparel rental and the re-commerce market to the fashion industry global agenda, connecting brands with circular innovators and providers, as well as build and share knowledge.
“We are very excited to build the Switching Gear network together with Fashion for Good. We strongly believe that connecting a powerful and active community of brands, solutions providers and experts is key to advancing the practical implementation of circular business models in the market”, says Gwen Cunningham, Program Lead of Circle Economy.
The network, supported by C&A Foundation, is part of the Bridging the Gap initiative, a group of six organisations working to stimulate sector-wide collaboration, facilitate innovative technologies and the design of best practices to enable the implementation of circular business models in the fashion industry’s supply chain. Other strategic partners of the Bridging the Gap group include the World Resources Institute, WRAP, London Waste and Recycling Board, QSA Partners and Forum for the Future.
“Working together as part of the Bridging the Gap initiative, Circle Economy and Fashion for Good, can assess the needs of brands and connect them with innovators and experts working to solve the issues preventing the implementation of circular business models. This network will be a powerful platform to create and share knowledge about how to implement and give scale to the clothing rent and re-commerce system, so we can make fashion a force for good”, Douwe Jan Joustra, Head of Circular Transformation at C&A Foundation.
Recommerce, rental, and leasing offer commercial opportunities for brands to innovate their business model while optimising the useful life of clothes to their full potential and reducing the overall impact of the industry. The Circle Economy project team is currently onboarding 6 core brands for the pilot development, as well as interested solution providers, innovators, brands and experts for the Switching Gear Enabling Network. “Brands and organisations interested in joining this movement to make fashion circular should contact us”, Gwen adds.
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“Switching Gear” is a C&A Foundation supported project that will guide 6 brands on a circular innovation process towards the design and launch of rental and recommerce business model pilots by 2021. Find more information about the project here.
About Circle Economy
We work to accelerate the transition to a circular economy. As an impact organisation, we work to identify opportunities to turn circular economy principles into practical reality.
With nature as our mentor, we combine practical insights with scalable responses to humanity’s greatest challenges. Our vision is economic, social and environmental prosperity without compromising the future of our planet. Our mission is to connect and empower a global community in business, cities and governments to create the conditions for systemic transformation.
More than 50 businesses are now part of our membership community (from large multinationals to active SMEs and innovative start-ups) with whom we co-create practical and scalable solutions, making the circular economy happen. In addition, we work with cities, governments, CSOs, NGO’s, advisory boards and intergovernmental bodies.
About Fashion For Good
Fashion for Good is the global initiative that is here to make all fashion good. It’s a global platform for innovation, made possible through collaboration and community. With an open invitation to the entire apparel industry, Fashion for Good convenes brands, producers, retailers, suppliers, non-profit organisations, innovators and funders united in their shared ambition.
At the core of Fashion for Good is our innovation platform. Through our Fashion for Good-Plug and Play Accelerator we give promising start-up innovators the expertise and access to funding they need in order to grow. Our Scaling Programme supports innovations that have passed the proof-of-concept phase, with a dedicated team that offers bespoke support and access to expertise, customers and capital. Our Good Fashion Fund will catalyse access to finance to shift at scale to more sustainable production methods.
Fashion for Good also acts as a convener for change. In October 2018 the Fashion for Good Experience has opened: the world’s first interactive tech museum dedicated to sustainable fashion innovation. In its hub in Amsterdam, Fashion for Good also houses a Circular Apparel Community co-working space, creates open-source resources like its Good Fashion Guide about cradle-to-cradle apparel.
Fashion for Good’s programmes are supported by founding partner C&A Foundation and corporate partners adidas, C&A, BESTSELLER, Galeries Lafayette Group, Kering, Otto Group, PVH Corp., Stella McCartney, Target and Zalando.
About C&A Foundation
C&A Foundation is a corporate foundation here to transform the fashion industry. They work with change-makers all over the world, offering financial support, expertise and networks to make the industry work better for every person it touches. The foundation collaborates with a variety of stakeholders, including NGOs and industry partners, and works closely with smallholder farmers and garment workers. C&A Foundation is driven by the belief that despite the vast and complex challenges, collaborative action can make fashion a force for good. www.candafoundation.org