Curtains, bedlinen, pillow sheets, clothing, these are some examples of textile products that are produced to use and then thrown away. Makes sense, factories work in a linear system – a colbert is often not designed to recycle. After use it ends up on a pile of textiles. A pile that will be burned so it at least generates energy. I – and with me more textile companies – am convinced we can do better. We are able to reuse materials. And we can make the linear system into a circular one. With these five possibilities we close the textile loop.
The circular closet: A game changer for fashion in the future. What is it? How is it different from a normal garment collection? And which struggles did you have to overcome? I interviewed Jon Curutchet, Head of Supply Chain & Sustainability at SKFK (Skunkfunk) about their recently launched rental service.
In the beginning of this year I compared different, freely available, material passports in the Netherlands for the infrastructure coalition of MVO Nederland, called Groene Netten. At that moment I started to question myself if this would work for the textile sector as well. I am curious what your opinion is.
In the article of September I wrote that I think mindset is the biggest issue we have to overcome to change towards a circular economy. Thereby I mean changing from seeing the importance towards freeing time to make a change in your daily work. We are all busy keeping up with our duties that it is an extra effort to stop, reflect and act.
What can a designer do to change this mindset?
I am writing blog articles since January 2012. Cradle-to-cradle was the main subject, focussed on which materials and techniques make textile products suitable for biodegradation or recycling. Ones in a while it is good to take a broader view and see the shifts that are needed to make a circular economy possible, that is what I will do in this article.
Why a circular economy? Take a look at this (Dutch) video:
Sustainable products must be sold. Otherwise they become waste and you know "Waste is design gone wrong". But what if you make fantastic woven fabrics for a living but you are not known? Then you need a framework that helps you make good quality products that sell to the right target audience. Karigar is such a framework.
Adding value is one of the key aspects of my company, it is even in my slogan “Design infinite value”. I recently finished reading the book The Upcycle (follow up on Cradle-to-cradle: remaking the way we make things)and I would like to explain to you the current concept of sustainability which is based on reducing and how to turn this in adding value.
What does “paying extra” mean? And how can you explain to your customer that he is not paying “extra”?
Products have a combined price with different currencies: money, nature, labour and trade. When you buy a product normally you pay with money, for example € 100,-. It is a shame to notice that too often someone who made your product had to pay with unfair labour circumstances and nature paid with being destroyed. There are also other ways to pay, without money, you trade a product or service for example a painter who paints the house of a gardener who does the garden of the painter.
Besides the way how you design products your whole business should become eco-effective. What are the easy steps to take? And what can be done with a little more effort? Today I will show you some examples in the Netherlands, because one of the things you can do is to stimulate the local economy.