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Circular solutions: maximising streetwear value across lifecycle

The fashion industry is notorious for its environmental impact, but circular fashion practices, which prioritise sustainability and longevity, are gaining traction within the streetwear market.

Circularity in fashion refers to an approach that aims to minimise waste and maximise the lifespan of clothing and accessories. It focuses on creating a closed-loop system where products and materials are reused and recycled rather than being disposed of after a single use.

Streetwear and second-hand market

Circularity fits well with streetwear fashion, which finds its origins in urban culture, skate, surf, and hip-hop subcultures, and is characterised by casual, comfortable, often oversized clothing. In short, it is the perfect style for second-hand clothing. 

Indeed, the second-hand market is a pivotal element in circular streetwear. Consider that 62% of consumers think streetwear products can be in style forever. This means that they can potentially be resold over and over again. Reselling not only extends the life of garments but also reduces the demand for new production. 

It is clear that fashion brands need to enter the second-hand market for their garments as key players while facilitating resale to their consumers. Therefore, it is crucial that brands offer tools to verify the history of garments and their authenticity, so as to discourage the sale of counterfeit products. Digital Product Passport (DPP) and authentication services can make a big difference. In addition, these tools can open up further initiatives that promote circular fashion and also a good shopping experience. Let's look at some of them.

streetwear circularity

Upcycling and DIY culture

Streetwear is inherently creative, and encouraging consumers to participate in the upcycling and DIY culture is a powerful way to promote circularity. Brands can provide tutorials, workshops, and even upcycling kits to guide customers in transforming old pieces into something fresh and exciting.

Rental and subscription models

In recent years, rental and subscription models have gained traction, allowing consumers to enjoy the thrill of new outfits without contributing to the fast fashion cycle. Streetwear brands can tap into this trend by offering curated rental collections or subscription boxes, providing consumers with access to high-quality, on-trend pieces without the long-term commitment.

Repair and restoration services

Streetwear enthusiasts often form emotional connections with their favourite pieces. Offering repair and restoration services can rekindle these relationships and extend the lifespan of a garment. Brands can collaborate with local tailors or establish their own repair workshops to offer these services, thereby contributing to a more sustainable fashion ecosystem.

Education and awareness

Educating consumers about the environmental impact of fashion and the benefits of circular practices is crucial for long-term change. Streetwear brands can use their platforms to share information about sustainable materials, production processes, and care instructions. This empowers consumers to make informed choices and actively participate in the circular fashion movement.

Circularity beyond consumer habits

So far we have dealt with circularity in streetwear fashion by considering only consumer habits. However, circularity concerns the entire product life cycle, from materials to end-of-life disposal. 

Indeed, circularity starts at the drawing board and nowadays designers can opt for sustainable materials like organic cotton, recycled polyester, and innovative fabrics like Tencel and hemp. Investing in quality materials and construction ensures that products have a longer life, allowing them to thrive even in the secondary market. Additionally, modular designs that allow for repairs and alterations promote extended product use.

Moreover, collaborations with artists, designers, and other brands not only may add uniqueness to a product but also create a sense of exclusivity. Limited releases or small-batch productions encourage consumers to cherish their pieces and view them as valuable, rather than disposable.

The importance of technology

Finally, embracing innovative technologies can provide transparency and traceability throughout a product's lifecycle. This ensures that consumers have access to information about the origins, materials, and production processes of their garments, instilling confidence in their purchase and increasing perceived value.

Connected products can play a crucial role, giving each item its own unique digital product ID.

A product can be made connected through the application of a QR Code or an NFC tag. Whichever solution, the important thing is that it is Secure by Design. In this, Certilogo can support streetwear brands.

At Certilogo, we have a deep understanding of counterfeiting practices and typical vulnerabilities in the most common implementations (including NFC and blockchain). Therefore, we have developed a system to securely associate each product with a unique ID so that its authenticity can be easily verified.

This allows a clone or fake to be recognized quickly, before it enters the brand’s or circular fashion’s ecosystem.

Meanwhile, consumers are guaranteed a versatile and seamless user experience to access any content, service and circular practice.

Connect your products to start or develop a circular strategy, contact us.

21 Nov 2023

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