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When it comes to circularity, it seems we need to go back to school as an entire industry – hundreds of apparel brand and textiles businesses worldwide are striving to adopt the circular economy but many lack the know-how to assess their current state and to measure progress, have limited knowledge and understanding of best practices and circular strategies and struggle to establish the right partnerships in order to move from intent to action. In short, and as echoed in the Global Fashion Agenda (GFA) Status report, while the ‘why’ of the circular economy is understood, the ‘how’ is left largely unanswered.

At Circle Economy, we’ve been furiously working on the development of Educational Trainings to teach not only designers but product developers, buyers, sales and marketing teams alike. Today, Circle Economy launches just that, titled: On Course: Circular Fashion and consists of 5 separate modules each focussing on a different key theme:

  • Intro to circularity
  • Source & Design
  • Business Model Innovation
  • End of Life of Textiles
  • Branding & Communication

The trainings, which may be taken individually or as a suite, focus on educating and empowering teams across work streams to apply circular strategies in a practical and relevant way. The modules use design thinking tools to not only build skillsets but help in the integral mindset shift needed to accelerate circularity.

 

Educating the Next Generation

 

But the need for education doesn’t stop there. Long-term industry change will not happen if current and upcoming fashion students continue to be trained for ‘business as usual’.  If Industry is at a crossroads, then so too is education. It’s the classic chicken and egg conundrum.

Schools, colleges and universities are at the helm here – they play a vital role in enabling the circular mindset and skillset of the next generation of industry professionals and ultimately securing the possibility of long-term sustained change. Educational Institutes can no longer shy away from the vast and damaging impact the industry has and must equip the next generation of fashion professionals with the values, perspectives, knowledge (and audacity!) needed to mend this ship we have set sail on, or to build a smarter, vehicle for change.

That’s exactly why Circle Economy and the Amsterdam Fashion Institute (AMFI) partnered in 2016. As a like-minded, action-orientated partner, AMFI is just as eager to kick-start a revolution and to rethink how we produce, design and sell clothing.

 

This partnership has manifested in two distinct projects;

In 2016, spurred on by the common belief that collective power disrupts,  AMFI and Circle Economy redesigned Beyond Green in order to bridge the gap between Industry and education to move both parties further and together. Three editions later, we are taking the 2019 edition to the next level – watch this space!

In 2018, AMFI, Circle Economy and Fashion For Good collaborated to re-build The AMFI Master Fashion Enterprise Creation into the world’s first master’s degree focused on circular fashion entrepreneurship. This pioneering  MAFEC  brings together a multi-disciplinary and international class of students, who all share in the pursuit of re-designing the fashion industry and becoming a global force for good.

 

So, here we have it. The On Course: Circular Fashion trainings, our contribution to and development of circular curricula and a new and improved Beyond Green. All concrete steps for the industry to take to achieve their circular goals. Which step are you going to tread on?

 

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