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94 retailers have now joined the Global Fashion Agenda’s 2020 Circular Fashion System Commitment, setting targets for circularity in fashion and textiles. A status update by GFA shows most targets have been set for circular design (58 per cent) followed by garment collection (49 per cent) and recycling (46 per cent) and the fewest set on reuse (24 per cent).

The signatories represent large industry players such as ASOS, H&M, Nike, Inditex, Kering and Target as well as SMEs, representing 63 per cent of the number of companies, including Nudie Jeans, Reformation and Ganni. The companies have pledged to take action on one or more circularity action points and to also report on the progress they are making in implementing their targets.

Says the report: “Circular design is trending among the 2020 Commitment signatories, with nearly two-thirds of them setting a combined 84 circular design targets, making it the action point with the most targets. Representing a broad range of market segments and price points, they highlighted the central role that design and development plays in creating products that can be looped back into the fashion system and that this area needs further exploration, both at company and industry level. The circular design targets show four general tendencies: Training in circular design, integrating circularity in design briefs, sourcing of monofibres and promoting customer care and repair.”

Targets for reuse were disappointingly low, although we expect that picture to change as brands follow the enlightened examples of businesses such as The North Face which has recently established a major ‘re-commerce’ channel.

Adds the report: “With a mere 24 per cent of the signatories setting 25 reuse targets, it is the action point with the fewest targets. Only a few companies had a functioning resale channel prior to signing the commitment and many have now set targets on developing new platforms and partnerships to increase the volume of used products resold. The reuse targets show three main tendencies: Expanding existing resale channels, developing new resale channels and establishing partnerships with resellers.”

Commenting in the report, Simone Colombo, head of corporate sustainability, OVS Spa, said: “Fashion was born as a linear model. It means that around 73 per cent of the whole production goes to landfill or to incinerators. We are struggling to change this paradigm, and we believe that policy engagement is crucial to enable a circular fashion system, not only for OVS, but for the whole industry. We need policymakers to regulate, incentivise and support practices within circular economy, such as garment collection and recycling. By signing the 2020 Commitment, we at OVS hope to be part of showcasing the need for policy changes in favour of a circular economy.”

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