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Mapping the transition to circular fashion

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Sophie Buchel

Researcher & Advisor

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The deeply rooted issues in the global fashion industry call for solutions that fundamentally challenge the current status quo. This is why C&A Foundation asked DRIFT to help develop a systems change map of the industry and to identify levers for transformative change. 

The global fashion industry has developed into a highly complex system entrenched into structures, cultures and practices that enable fast, cheap and large-scale production of apparel. Within this system, a myriad of persistent challenges has emerged: negative environmental impacts and severe social issues. Brands, retailers and consumers have condemned these issues, but so far impact of efforts to remedy such problems have been limited.

Fortunately, the movement towards a more sustainable fashion industry is accelerating with increasing pre-competitive collaboration and a broadening variety of alternative practices, materials and business models that pave the way for the fashion industry of the future. Yet, there are also signs of initiative fatigue and slow progress towards transformational change. There is a need to understand how initiatives are reinforcing or challenging the status quo, and how collective efforts in the industry can more effectively add up to transformative change.

December 2017 – May 2018

Fashion fod Good

The project is funded by the C&A Foundation

C&A Foundation and their partner Fashion for Good have worked with DRIFT to develop a systems change map to better understand the dynamics of change. The mapping is done collaboratively, with input from critical and creative thinkers in the field. Additionally, DRIFT identified levers for transformative change towards a regenerative and restorative fashion industry.