Close The Loop - A guide towards a circular fashion industry

Simon Gryspeert
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Close the Loop: a guide prepared by Flanders DC and Circular Flanders which helps fashion entrepreneurs become more circular 

To accelerate the shift to a circular economy, companies and other actors are encouraged to adopt various strategies and to take action. Fashion entrepreneurs have the chance to make a difference and to affect the lifecycle of a garment. Such a product lifecycle consists of the following phases:

  • Resources
  • Design
  • Production
  • Retail
  • Consumption
  • End of life

For each phase, five strategies have been formulated that can be implemented to contribute to a circular fashion industry. Seeing that it is impossible to apply all strategies to every part of the chain, this guide encourages entrepreneurs to select a few strategies that are workable for them. After all, the success of a strategy depends on several factors (such as the size, focus and location of the business). In addition, this tool offers a database of around 350 case studies and plenty of practical tips and tricks that refer to existing platforms and research, along with organisations that make an important contribution to the circular economy.

To make this mini-Wikipedia on sustainable fashion more manageable, Flanders DC launched the Close The Loop PLANNER in 2018, which walks entrepreneurs through all the phases with the help of a simple questionnaire, encouraging them to take a closer look at how every aspect of sustainability relates to their business. Once all the questions have been completed, action points are identified, providing entrepreneurs with a summary of both short-term and long-term goals, so they can immediately set to work.