Making the Leap to Circular Fashion

Insights from leading Asian fashion manufacturers driving circular fashion innovation

With COVID-19 and the climate crisis threatening the fashion industry’s dominant business model based on growth in production, circular models will need to be at the heart of the sector’s radical transformation. Forum for the Future has published a new report, titled “Making the leap to circular fashion”, which shines a light on the huge untapped potential of fashion manufacturers to contribute to this circular transformation. It calls on brands, retailers and other stakeholders to step up efforts to include supply chain voices in the sector’s drive to transform how fashion items are designed, made, sold and used.

By their position in the industry – making sourcing and supply decisions and creating products that retail in shops – manufacturers have enormous potential to shape the fashion sector up and down the supply chain. And yet, the role of manufacturers is often overlooked in debates around sustainability, and circular initiatives are mostly driven by fashion brands and compliance-driven approaches.

The report highlights the significant role that manufacturers could play in transitioning to circularity, and sets out recommended actions that will enable all supply chain actors to truly act together to create a circular future for fashion. The report’s insights are informed by Forum’s work with leading fashion manufacturers Cobalt Fashion (part of the Fung Group), Ramatex Group and Yee Chain International. As part of the Laudes Foundation-funded Circular Leap Asia programme, manufacturers worked on tackling the high-impact challenges of reducing microfibre shedding, building the reverse supply chain for clothing recycling, and reducing fabric material waste in the footwear supply chain.

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