Cradle to Cradle in the fashion industry

Next February, H&M is introducing a closed-loop-collection. 20% of the clothes consist of recycled fibers. This is the first step towards Cradle to Cradle. The big question is about: how can Cradle to Cradle provide more sustainability in the supply chain of the fashion industry?

With the implementation of Cradle to Cradle in the supply chain of the fashion industry, the sustainability will be increased.

Cradle to Cradle ensures that products remain in a continuous circuit, where there is no waste. Beside, Cradle to Cradle ensures not only at the end of the supply chain a closed loop. It starts with the design, by using deliberately chosen materials. For example, energy consumption is taken into account during the production process. It is essential that from the very first beginning of the process, companies take not only economics into account, but also environmental and social factors. This is crucial to create value. Cradle to Cradle is taken these three aspects into account.

Many companies are choosing to outsource recycling. However, when working with the Cradle to Cradle principles in mind, profit can be made in the middle and longer term. By running the process yourself, knowledge and experience will be gained and the processes can be more and more improved. Through good cooperation with other companies in the chain, leverage the sustainability and profit. For example, by collecting nutrients for recycling. 

Four focus areas:

There are four focus areas for Cradle to Cradle in the fashion chain:

  1. Firstly, it must be ensured that no harmful substances are used;
  2. Secondly, it is important that a company is well-informed. Often, when the instance would exclude a harmful substance, the alternative solution is still not ecological;
  3. The third point is the materials that are used for the product and the side effects. Hereinafter, it may be determined which instances can be used properly;
  4. Finally, it is important to examine how materials can be recycled and to define this is a pathway. It is important to rethink the framework. In order to create this change, it is necessary that the goal of this change is well defined, and clearly communicated.


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