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H&M, Burberry, Nike & more team up to Make Fashion Circular

By Vivian Hendriksz


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London - Burberry Group plc, Gap Inc, H&M, Nike Inc, Stella McCartney and HSBC - some of the largest names in the fashion industry - have joined forces to develop a future, circular industry. These industry leaders have been named core partners of the initiative Make Fashion Circular and will work with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation to redesign the fashion industry.

The core partners of the initiative were revealed during the second day of the Copenhagen Fashion Summit, the world’s largest conference focusing on sustainability in the fashion industry. Together these companies aim to deliver solutions which are needed to meet the change demands and expectations of society and address the core issues which have led to the fashion industry becoming one of the most polluting and wasteful sectors today.

Industry leaders team up for the second phase of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation initiative to create a circular economy

“Realising the vision of a circular model for fashion will take true collaboration and bold innovation from all corners of our industry,” said Pam Batty, Vice President of Corporate Responsibility, Burberry in a statement. “As a core partner of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s Make Fashion Circular initiative we are proud to champion the conversation about circularity, and encourage others to take the opportunities to rethink their approach for the benefit of the environment, our communities and the global economy.”

The initiative, launched in May 2017 at the Copenhagen Fashion Summit as the Circular Fibres Initiative, is supported by the C&A Foundation and Walmart Foundation. The revamped initiative includes an additional 16 stakeholders, such as city authorities, fashion producers, designers and brands, which have joined Make Fashion Circular as participants. Together, the initiative will led the way towards the vision for a circular economy for fashion, as set out in the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s 2017 report.

The participants of the Make Fashion Circular initiative are set to untie under three key principles to create a system that offers benefits for citizens, the environment and businesses. The first of which is creating business models that keep clothes in use, the second is using materials that are renewable and safe and the third, focuses on creating solutions that turn used clothes into new clothes. Social rights and human rights concerning working conditions for workers are not mentioned under the principles.

DuPont Biomaterials, Fung Group, Hallotex, I:Collect, Inditex, Kering, Lenzing Group, London Waste and Recycling Board, Nanushka, Primark, RadiciGroup, Solvay, Texaid, Tintex Textiles, VF Corporation, W.L. Gore and Associates have already signed on as participants and others are invited to join. The new initiative aims to ensure the fashion industry is able to recapture the 460 billion USD lost due to the underutilisation of clothing, as well as an additional 100 billion USD from clothing that is thrown away and incinerated.

“For the fashion industry to thrive in the future we must replace the take-make-dispose model, which is worn out,” said Ellen MacArthur, founder of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation in a statement. “We need a circular economy for fashion in which clothes are kept at their highest value and designed from the outset to never end up as waste. By joining forces to Make Fashion Circular we can harness the creativity and innovation that is at the heart of this USD 1.3 trillion industry to create a system that delivers benefits for everyone.”

Photos: Copenhagen Fashion Summit 2018

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