THE FUTURE OF FASHION IS SUSTAINABLE

Navigating circular economies between people, planet & profits with an exclusive interview of Swedish Fall Co-founder Silja Stallbaum

In talks with

Watch the exclusive interview here

Prefer the transcript? See it here

In talks with

Watch the exclusive interview here

FROM ONE FOUNDER TO ANOTHER

NAVIGATING CIRCULAR ECONOMIES WITH SWEDISH FALL

By now, it’s clear we need sizable and urgent action to tackle the climate crisis. What this means for us at Remagine is fundamentally changing the way businesses, well, do business. Some businesses are tackling the climate challenge head-on through innovative products, services, and operating models in ways that are worth talking about. Our team at Remagine wants to highlight some of their great work to share knowledge and inspiration with founders building businesses that will shape our future.

INTRODUCING SWEDISH FALL

Remagine’s Co-Founder Julia chatted with Swedish Fall Co-Founder Silja Stallbaum to talk about how Swedish Fall is innovating for sustainability and circularity in fashion, an industry estimated to emit as much greenhouse gas as the economies of France, Germany, and the United Kingdom combined. Central to their sustainability approach has been the introduction of their one-for-one recycling model. Through this model, customers receive boxes of Swedish Fall products and can pick and choose however many they want to keep. Where it gets interesting is that customers can then send back an equal number of clothing items for recycling. But it doesn’t stop there. Swedish Fall products are inherently better for the environment and made of recycled materials and sustainable fabric alternatives. Further, though recycling clothing fabrics can be challenging, their goal is to design their production and products for regular reuse and recycling by working towards better recycling technologies.

KEY INSIGHT: HOW TO INTEGRATE CIRCULAR MODELS INTO YOUR OWN BUSINESS

Why circularity? Well, it is no secret that our planet can no longer sustain linear models of consumption that have depleted resources, exploited labour, and have generated substantial waste over the decades. It’s time for businesses to abandon traditional ‘take-make-waste’ models and find new ways to improve their supply chains and resource performance. Accordingly, businesses today are embracing a circular economy, which involves including regenerative and restorative intention and design. Circular design and processes could very well mean savings on costs associated with your production, while also fostering the potential for trailblazing innovation. The circular economy, therefore, can be a win-win-win for your profit, the planet, and the people who inhabit it.

As described by The Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s pivotal report, the intent of a circular economy is to:

The inclusion of circular principles is a win-win for businesses, as they drive value creation that improve product and operational outcomes. These sources of value creation are depicted below:
Power of the inner circle.
Optimising products such that fewer changes are needed for its reuse, refurbishment, and remanufacturing. This leads to a faster return to use and savings on material, labour, energy, and other associated costs as a result.
Power of circling longer.
Maximising the number of consecutive cycles and/or the time in each cycle of a product or components for reuse, remanufacturing. or recycling.
Power of cascaded use.
Diversifying reuse across the value chain. For example, cotton clothing reused as second-hand apparel, then used in the furniture industry and finally as insulation for construction before returning to the biosphere.
Power of pure circles.
Uncontaminated material streams increase collection and redistribution efficiency while maintaining quality. This extends product longevity and increases material productivity.

In our discussion with Swedish Fall, we find that their recycling model increases the ‘power of circling longer’ to introduce additional cycles into the life of discarded clothing. Swedish Fall further integrates circularity by working with suppliers to address the ‘power of pure circles’ and ‘power of the inner circle’ problems of blended fabrics and complicated manufacturing processes so that Swedish Fall materials can be more easily reused and recycled in the future (and at higher levels of quality).

Our tip to founders? Think about what kinds of opportunities exist for your business in the circular economy and take things to the next level.

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