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Industry Talk

Lindex and Asket join Switching Gear project

Apparel brands Asket and Lindex are the first of four brands to join Circle Economy’s project in order to explore circular business models.

22nd October 2019

Innovation in Textiles
 |  Amsterdam

Sustainable, Clothing/​Footwear

Swedish fashion retailer Lindex launched a sustainability promise in April. © Circle Economy

Swedish fashion retailer Lindex launched a sustainability promise in April. © Circle Economy

Apparel brands Asket and Lindex are the first of four brands to join Circle Economy’s Switching Gear project in order to explore circular business models and connect with a global network of rental and recommerce experts.

“Circular business models such as recommerce and rental offer commercial opportunities for brands to innovate their business model while optimising the useful life of clothes to their full potential and reducing the overall impact of the industry,” said Gwen Cunningham, Circle Textiles Programme Lead. “With Switching Gear, we aim to accelerate these business models in the apparel industry by providing brands with the expertise they need and connecting them with the right partners to successfully launch a pilot by 2021.”

In partnership with Fashion for Good, the project has also established the Switching Gear Enabling Network; a network of over 30 rental and recommerce experts and service providers to support Asket, Lindex and other participating brands that join in their journey to develop and pilot a new business model. Members of the network include: ThredUP, RePack, Eileen Fisher, Style Lend, Lizee and The Renewal Workshop.

Another step towards sustainability

The Swedish menswear brand Asket is on a mission to rewrite the rules of the whole fashion system and focuses on putting care back into apparel – addressing how clothes are made, marketed and consumed.

Having stepped out of seasonal collections that only fuel fast-consumption habits, the start-up instead introduced a single permanent collection of zero-compromise garments. Every piece is in the collection is marked with its traceability journey, breaking down the garment into its raw components and tracing it back to their origin. They also offer stain, repair and care guides, aimed at getting people to better care for their garments.

Asket introduced a single permanent collection of zero-compromise garments. © Circle Economy

Asket introduced a single permanent collection of zero-compromise garments. © Circle Economy

“We want to continue to lead by example and see that a recommerce or rental business model would allow us to take our mission to change the way we consume clothes and reduce waste even further. Joining Switching Gear will fast track our thinking, and we are excited for the collaboration opportunities that come with the Switching Gear Enabling Network,” explained August Bard-Bringeus, Co-founder at Asket

Following up on a promise

Back in April, Swedish fashion retailer Lindex launched a sustainability promise that positioned climate action, a circular business approach, and water responsibility at the core of the company’s vision. The sustainability promise also set the fashion company’s climate goals around emissions, materials, and water efficiency, such as ensuring 100% of Lindex materials are either recycled or sustainably sourced by 2025.

“We want to prolong the lifetime of our products and use resources in the smartest way possible throughout our operations. A circular business approach will help us with our goals to reduce material streams and sending zero waste to landfill, and the guidance of the Switching gear project team will be of great value in our work to fulfil our promise to future generations,” said Anna-Karin Dahlberg, Corporate Sustainability Manager at Lindex.

Inclusive, fair, and sustainable

The past two decades have seen a dramatic decrease in the amount of times clothes are worn. Coupled with a shift towards fast fashion, average consumers today buy 60% more items than they did 15 years ago and wear them for half as long. Seventy percent of closets usually go unworn and it is estimated that 33% of women wear items as little as five times before disposing of them.  

The Switching Gear project, supported by C&A Foundation, is part of the Bridging the Gap initiative, a group of six organisations working to stimulate sector-wide collaboration, facilitate innovative technologies and the design of best practices to enable the implementation of circular business models in the fashion industry’s supply chain. Other strategic partners of the Bridging the Gap group include the World Resources Institute, WRAP, London Waste and Recycling Board, QSA Partners and Forum for the Future.

www.circle-economy.com

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