INDUSTRY UPDATE: Circular business models, like clothing resale and subscription rental, are taking off - but can they ever fully replace today's retail models and deliver the radical sustainability improvements we need? | Sustainable Fashion Academy

Big Closets Small Planet with Michael Schragger

INDUSTRY UPDATE: Circular business models, like clothing resale and subscription rental, are taking off - but can they ever fully replace today's retail models and deliver the radical sustainability improvements we need?

Experts and practitioners agree that simply improving upon today’s take-make-waste linear business models will not ensure the apparel industry can operate within the planet’s ecological boundaries. Instead, a new circular economy is needed and thus new circular business models. Circular business models, like resale and rental, are not actually new. But up until a few years ago, models like these were marginal, primarily employed by second hand stores and charity shops. How things have changed!

May 27th, 2020 56 minutes 21 seconds
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About this episode

Experts and practitioners agree that simply improving upon today’s take-make-waste linear business models will not ensure the apparel industry can operate within the planet’s ecological boundaries. Instead, a new circular economy is needed and thus new circular business models. Circular business models, like resale and rental, are not actually new. But up until a few years ago, models like these were marginal, primarily employed by second hand stores and charity shops. How things have changed! Today, nearly every major brand has a circularity department working to develop and test these circular models as a means to increase their market share, profitability and sustainability performance. So is this the radical breakthrough we have all been waiting for? And will these models, if scaled, deliver the environmental and social benefits advocates are promoting? To get updated, Michael invited three industry pioneers - Gwen Cunningham, Lead of Circle Economy’s Textiles Programme and Switching Gear Project, Jeff Denby, co-founder of The Renewal Workshop, and Sam Gillick-Daniels from WRAP (The Waste and Resources Action Programme) - to weigh in. If you are interested in getting updated on the current state of circular apparel business models and the challenges and opportunities facing them, this episode is for you.

 

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About the host

Michael Schragger has been working at the intersection between sustainability, business, society and research for more than 25 years. He is an expert in analysing the impacts of environmental and social developments on business and society and mobilising stakeholders to achieve key sustainable development goals (SDGs). In 2009 Michael founded the Sustainable Fashion Academy (SFA) in order to dramatically improve environmental and human rights performance within the fashion and apparel industry. Michael participates as a senior advisor for a range of global sustainable apparel initiatives, ranging from finance to policy. He is a member of the steering group for The United Nation’s Climate Action in Fashion Charter. He also co-founded and directs The Swedish Textiles Initiative for Climate Action.

Michael currently lives in Stockholm, Sweden with his wife Erika and kids Oz and Blimah (who, unfortunately, refuse to listen to his podcasts…).