How to implement circularity in your fashion business now: the 10 R’s

Circularity is a radical departure from the traditional linear approach, where value is created but quickly destroyed. But how can you implement it in your fashion business effectively and efficiently? Where to even start?

Discover the 10 R’s of circularity and choose the most effortless strategies to be implemented in your business right away. It’s high time to build a world where waste is a thing of the past, resources are preserved, and products are valued for their entire lifespan. Let’s do this!

The 10 R’s

The 10 R’s of circularity are a set of guiding principles for creating a more circular economy. Quite a few different ones have appeared, but this is one of the most well known and our personal favourite. The 10 R’s provide a framework for measuring innovation in the context of circularity.

#1 Refuse

The first and foremost step is to REFUSE! Do you really need that product or packaging? Or could that process be done differently without abstracting valuable resources? At all costs, avoid unnecessary use of resources by refusing products and materials that are not essential. That is often crucial in the design phase but can also refer to your general business and how the back office or headquarters operate. There are always many ways to refuse processes or unwritten rules that are wasteful and redundant. Bonus point: it’s also cost-effective!

#2 Rethink

Shift your mindset to embrace circular principles and find more sustainable solutions. “We’ve always done it this way” is a phrase from the past. Do you need a pen or do you need to write something down? This specific need can be addressed in many different ways – and new ones are being invented as we speak! Why not get an erasable notebook that you can wipe the text off and keep reusing it? Options are endless. Go circular wherever possible.

#3 Reduce

Minimise the use of resources and waste by reducing your overall consumption. For example, a pen uses 100% of plastic on the outer part. You redesign the pen and make it perforated: with this new reduced design: you reduce 60% of plastic instead of 100% before. Where can you reduce the use of resources as a textile or fashion business? Fabrics are just the start!

#4 Reuse

Find new ways to use existing resources, such as by reusing products or materials. Hello second-hand garments! If incorporating second-hand garments into your product chain is something out of reach for now, try to rethink how you can give a second life to your garments that might otherwise be discarded. TIP: Collaborate with reverse logistic providers and sorters, so you don’t have to do everything yourself!

#5 Repair

Fix items instead of throwing them away, extending their lifespan. NEWS FLASH: EU is in the final stages of the repairing regulation ‘Right to repair’ that requires sellers to provide repair services. Be the early adopter and sort out your repair solution now.

#6 Refurbish

Give products a new lease on life through refurbishment. From an old couch to a jacket, the sky’s the limit.

#7 Remanufacture

Give products a new life through remanufacturing. What’s the difference between refurbished and remanufactured solution? Remanufactured means that the product is restored to a new like status – no one can tell you’ve reused a piece of material. Ready for this challenge?

#8 Repurpose

Find new uses for products or materials that would otherwise be discarded. You don’t need to do everything yourself, think of strategic collaborations that take your brand or business to the next level.

#9 Recycle

Properly recycle items to conserve resources. Especially as a brand, you have got access to all the knowledge you need to recycle to your best ability in every area of your business. This aspect not only comes up in various certifications, but also serves as a low hanging fruit when it comes to circularity.

#10 Recovery

Recovery is the last R, as it’s deployed only if all other nine R’s don’t make the cut. When all options fail, there are still ways to extract some value from something that no longer serves its purpose, like burning bio-waste to extract energy. It’s the last resort for a reason and should be used wisely.
By following these principles, we can work toward a more circular economy where resources are saved, waste is kept to a minimum, and the planet is protected. Let’s be part of the solution, not the problem!
Do you want to go more in depth? Give us a call or learn more about circular business models in our Sustainable Management & Top Management course. Enroll now in our course and lead the change with confidence. Enjoy a 20% discount on original price.

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