Style or sustainability? While there is a growing number of brands that aim to do both, the challenges around fashion fashion are all too real. Back in May 2017, the Global Fashion Agenda called on brands and retailers to do more to shift the fashion system into a circular model. To that end, ASOS is launching it's first circular collection today, (Sept. 28) featuring 29 trend-led styles across clothing and accessories, each designed and made to meet industry-leading circularity principles.
As a signatory of the Global Fashion Agenda, ASOS committed to train all its designers on circular design by 2020, which it has done by creating and launching a training programme with the Centre for Sustainable Fashion, part of London College of Fashion. The fashion fashion brand is also a participant in the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s Make Fashion Circular initiative, which describes Circular Design as designing with the whole product lifecycle in mind, from the beginning of the entire process.
“We’ve been on an incredible journey in ASOS over the past few years to discover how circular design can work in practice in an organisation like ASOS, and working closely with our suppliers to apply the circular design principles that we’ve set ourselves,” says Vanessa Spence, Head of Design at ASOS. “What this collection shows is that you don’t need to make a choice between the circular economy and fashion, and that you can make sustainable products without compromising on design or on price.”
While ASOS didn't release figures on what this 29-piece capsule represents in terms of their annual production volume, or how much this move towards circularity will offset on it's exponential business, it is still a move in the right direction.
Building on the three founding pillars of Circular Design – designing out waste and pollution; keeping products and materials in use; and regenerating natural systems – ASOS used eight guiding "principles" to create its latest collection: recycled input, zero waste, minimised waste, durability, versatility, mono-material, disassembly, and upcycle.
The collection – priced between £6 and £58 – features this season’s key trends from cardigans to original blue denim, all in an oversized style that fans have come to love. And of course, this season’s must-have item: the knitted vest.
In keeping with the brand's other collections, there are a number of unisex pieces, along with reversible and multi-wear items, too. Browns, lilacs and neutrals take the form of voluminous dresses and tops, whilst micro prints and acid washes throw it back to '90s nostalgia. Oh, and there are accessories to match. On-trend bum-bags, and mix-and-match sterling silver jewellery afford major outfit updates with minimal effort.
“With all of our designers now trained in circular principles and our first circular collection out the door, we’re excited to see how we can take this project forward and use our size and scale to share our expertise with our suppliers but also other brands and retailers," added Spence.
Here is our pick of ASOS Circular Fashion collection, available to buy now:
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