Think ReFashion not fast fashion

Author: Mario Crippa - Physical Experience Practice Head

How businesses can bring the ‘make do and mend’ attitude into the 21st century

Shocking figures from the World Economic Forum show that 87% of our clothes end up dumped in a landfill or burnt in an incinerator. And when you consider that fashion manufacturing makes up 10% of all global carbon emissions, dries up water sources, and pollutes rivers and streams, it’s clear that we have to do something. Fast.

Step forward ‘refashioning’.  Literally meaning giving new form to something, the term refers to reusing, restitching, reselling, or reimagining clothes and textiles to get more – or new – life out of them. And, until relatively recently, it was a way of life. Take the famous WWII ‘make do and mend’ campaign with useful tips on how to be both frugal and stylish in times of harsh rationing.

Fast fashion has sadly dominated for decades, but the tide is turning. In the EPAM report Consumers Unmasked: Stage 3, American and European consumers showed us that sustainability matters in buying decisions. Climate change, hand in hand with the pandemic and cost of living crisis, has focused the runway spotlight on working towards a more circular clothing industry.

And it’s not just the right thing to do. ReFashion is big business – and growing. The global resale (or secondhand) clothing industry is expected to grow from $96 billion in 2021 to $218 billion in 2026, far outdoing the predicted growth of traditional retail clothing sales.

So what’s the future? Clothing companies and retailers need to look ahead at what’s next for business models, services and experiences in order to stay ahead of the competition. To read the full article, visit ReFashion: A Sustainable Trend.

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