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Ellen MacArthur Foundation and leading brands start The Fashion ReModel to pursue a circular approach

By Simone Preuss


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Circular lens. Image for illustration purposes. Credits: Credits: Mac Mullins / Pexels

How to make money in fashion without making new clothes? That is ultimately the question that needs to be solved by the industry in view of the current take-make-waste models that churn out 100 billion (!) pieces of new clothing each year only to be discarded after a few wears.

The Ellen MacArthur Foundation has announced a new initiative called The Fashion Remodel that will explore ways to make money without making new clothes. Launched at the Global Fashion Summit in Copenhagen, the initiative includes some of the world’s leading fashion brands that will explore how to make circular business models the norm.

Circling the line - how to make money without making new clothes?

The first companies to join the Foundation-led demo project are the H&M Group with brands Arket, Cos and Weekday, Canadian outdoor brand Arc'teryx, textile discounter Primark, US-based sustainable womenswear brand Reformation and German online retailer Zalando.

The new initiative will build on insights from The Jeans Redesign project, which ran from 2019-2023 and tasked participants to reimagine the wardrobe staple to be fit for a circular economy.

Jeans Redesign Project. Credits: The Ellen MacArthur Foundation

Some of those insights are that one needs to build more on the redesign of products, transform the systems that products enter and the infrastructure that delivers and keeps them in use. The aim of The Fashion ReModel initiative is to identify solutions and to overcome challenges so that the industry can begin to decouple revenue from the production of new garments.

“In order to challenge conventional linear models and create a new normal, brands must decouple revenue from production by accelerating efforts to redesign the products of the future, as well as rethinking the services and business models which deliver them to customers and keep them in use,” affirmed Jules Lennon, fashion lead at the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, in a press release.

“The opportunity presented by decoupling the fashion industry’s growth from resource use is huge and this project can help us better understand how to further scale these models,” agreed Leyla Ertur, head of sustainability at the H&M Group.

“We’re excited to be one of the first participants to join the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s demonstration project, The Fashion ReModel, to reimagine circularity for the outdoor industry, rethinking the way we approach design and waste to build a future in which everything we create can be given a second life,” added Dominique Showers, vice president of ReBird at Arc’teryx.

The Ellen MacArthur Foundation did not yet comment on the length of the project and if it would be expanded to include more brands in the future/beyond the demo stage.

Circular Fashion
Ellen MacArthur Foundation
H&M Group