7.5% of the global fashion industry commits to circularity

July 10, 2017

Fashion companies representing a combined value of 7.5% of the global fashion market have signed a commitment to accelerate the transition to a circular fashion system.

When key leaders from the fashion industry gathered for Copenhagen Fashion Summit on 11 May 2017, they witnessed the launch of the Call to Action for a Circular Fashion System. An initiative by Global Fashion Agenda, the Call to Action is a counteraction to today's linear and unsustainable "take, make, dispose" economic model, which sends too many garments to landfills and incinerators. The aim is to accelerate the fashion industry's transition to a more circular system by increasing the volume of used textiles collected, reused and recycled by 2020.

List of signatories published
Since the launch at the Summit, the fashion industry had until 30 June 2017 to join the Call to Action and sign the commitment letter. Today, the full list of signatories has been published.

The final list of signatories counts 64 leading fashion companies and corporations. Together, the 64 industry players represent 143 brands and a combined value of an impressive 7.5% of the global fashion industry (percentage of total global fashion industry value (€1.5 trillion) reference from Pulse of the Fashion Industry report by the Boston Consulting Group and Global Fashion Agenda. For groups, total include only fashion business). Among the signatories are adidas, ASOS, Bestseller, Eileen Fisher, Guess, Hugo Boss, Inditex, Lacoste, H&M Group, Kering, Nudie Jeans, Reformation, Target, Tommy Hilfiger and VF Corp. See the full list here.

In concrete terms, the signatories have committed to defining a circular strategy for their own company by December 2017, setting targets for 2020 and reporting on the progress of implementing the commitment. It is possible for them to commit to one or more of the following action points:

  • Implementing design strategy for cyclability: Brand or retailer has a design strategy for cyclability by 2020, enabling re-use, upcycling and recycling 
  • Increasing volume of used garments collected: Brand or retailer has programme in place for the collection and processing of used garments by 2020
  • Increasing resale of used garments: Brand or retailer sells or exchanges used garments in second-hand marketplaces by 2020
  • Increasing use of recycled textile fibres: Brand or retailer uses recycled textile fibres in collection range by 2020 

The Global Fashion Agenda takes a central role in catalysing the various stakeholders involved in making this happen and over the next three years commits to provide the network, knowledge and advocacy to ensure that these issues are lifted, communicated and implemented in the broader industry. Global Fashion Agenda will furthermore publish a progress report in May every year.

Toolbox made available
Throughout the year, several toolboxes will be made available for signatories to guide them by sharing knowledge and inspiration within the various fields of circular fashion.

The first toolbox focuses on garment collection and is now available to all signatories. Created in partnership with I:CO, a global solutions provider for the collection, re-use and recycling of used clothing and shoes, the toolbox gives practical tips on how to set up a collection scheme and describes lessons learned from various brands and experts, including Reformation, H&M Group, Inditex, Target, Bestseller and Filippa K.

Later this year, three more toolboxes on respectively design, reuse and textile fibre recycling will be made available to signatories.


The Call to Action – in short
At Copenhagen Fashion Summit on 11 May 2017, Global Fashion Agenda presented a Call to Action for a Circular Fashion System, urging all fashion brands and retailers to take action on circularity. Taking advantage of their influential role in the value chain, the companies can take leadership in accelerating the fashion industry´s transition to a more circular system by increasing the volume of textiles collected, reused and recycled by 2020. Today a few pioneers are leading the way but for a circular system to succeed on an industry level, collaboration and transparent action is needed.

 Image: Sorting facility, photo credit I:CO/SOEX