inArts & Culture, Climate & Sustainability, Past Events
The need for the world to shift from a linear, take-make-waste economy to a circular economy is becoming more compelling every day, and nowhere is this transition more urgent than in the fashion industry. But how will the fashion industry, and fast fashion in particular, make this transition?
Over the last decade, the fashion industry has been under increasing scrutiny for its environmental impact. In 2018 alone it produced 2.1 billion tonnes of CO2 – 4% of global carbon emissions, a share larger than that of France, Germany and the UK combined – whilst over 85% of the items produced ended up in landfill.
Yet the very nature of fashion designers is one of creativity, innovation and problem solving and for the new generation of designer it has become essential to think about the entire lifecycle of a product, generating radical change with circular practices and design. The circular economy and circular design present the fashion industry with a critical new path forward. It is no longer a trend, but a system in itself and the concept of what is “new” has been entirely redefined as we look to a more sustainable future.
This was a discussion of circular fashion pioneers exploring the key elements and drivers of fashion’s circular transformation and how we, as consumers, can play a role.
Presented in collaboration with the FT
John Atcheson is Co-Founder/CEO of Sellalong, a social enterprise dedicated to ending consumer waste by making circularity a part of every retail purchase. Prior to Sellalong and its predecessor company, Stuffstr, John helped to launch Getaround, the world’s leading peer-to-peer car sharing company, and served as Founder/CEO of several media-related startups, including MusicNet, the first interactive music service. Additionally, John has served as board chair of Sightline Institute, a leading sustainability think-tank based in Seattle.
Laura Balmond:Previously a Management consultant, Laura joined the Ellen MacArthur Foundation in 2015 after completing her Masters in Environmental Engineering. Her first few years at the Foundation saw her co-author the reports ‘Circular Economy in India Rethinking Growth for Long Term Prosperity’ and ‘A New Textiles Economy – Redesigning Fashion’s Future’. Part of the Make Fashion Circular team from the very beginning, Laura has managed the #WearNext campaign, Jeans Redesign projects, and the co-creation of a vision of a circular economy for fashion. Laura now leads the Fashion work at the Ellen MacArthur Foundation.
Cyndi Rhoades began her career as a film maker in music videos and documentaries which over time evolved into a deep interest into the impacts of commerce and global economics on society and the environment. These interests led to the formation of Worn Again (later to become Worn Again Technologies), which she founded in 2005 with a determination to create a business out of solving the global problem of textiles waste. Since 2012, the company has been in development of a polymer recycling technology for polyester and cotton textiles while building connections with global brands, supply chain producers and strategic investors aligned with the vision of eradicating waste and replacing the use of virgin resources for making new textiles.
Evan Wiener is a Sustainability & Circular Economy leader in the Retail industry with two decades of international experience in product, marketing, retail, manufacturing and supply chain operations. He is inspired by and motivated to help industry leading consumer brands scale circular business models, products and services that drive growth and move us towards a zero carbon and zero waste future. Aligned to this mission, Evan is currently the GM & Head of Circular Business for the global fashion retailer, H&M. In this role, he leads the brand’s efforts to build and scale circular business models across its supply chain and retail channels. Prior to joining H&M, Evan was the Director of Sustainability & Circularity Services for Nike and in 2020, he also led the reset of the longest standing footwear recycling program in the retail industry, Reuse-a-Shoe. Prior to Nike, Evan founded an independent consulting practice, The Purpose Project, advising both public and private sector firms on sustainability programs aligned to their growth strategies. This included work for Kimberly-Clark, The Girl Scouts of America, The Hirdaramani Group, The Children’s Place, BBMG and Good Corps. Evan’s previous credentials in the retail industry included implementing brand marketing, communications and product strategies for the 2008 Olympic Games and 2010 World Cup with adidas. In 2010, he championed the digital and social media marketing campaign, “Futbol meets Football” that was awarded a Cannes Lion in marketing and communications.
Leslie Hook serves as the environment and clean energy correspondent at the Financial Times. Her previous roles at the FT include San Francisco correspondent, Lex writer and Beijing correspondent. Before her time at the FT Leslie was at The Wall Street Journal, working on their Asia editorial page. Prior to this she was a Princeton in Asia fellow at the Far Eastern Economic Review in Hong Kong.
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