You are here

Better World Fashion is circular fashion: 98% reuse - 100% unique

Better World Fashion logo
Start/End date: 
03/2015
Ongoing: 
Yes
Description: 

Better World Fashion's high-quality products are brand new and made from 98% upcycled materials. The company transforms used leather, discarded plastic bottles, old suspenders and recycled wood and metal into brand new modern leather jackets, bags, aprons and other products.

All the products carry the history and patina of previous lives, which makes them unique. The colors, the patina and in some cases even details like stitches, pockets and imprints are carried over from former lives to the new product.

While the company competes on the same level as traditional virgin products when it comes to price and quality, its products have something that no mass-produced products offer: individuality and a compelling story. The business model is designed to keep materials in the loop:

  1. Better World Fashion offers a rental subscription option on all their products. This gives customers more flexibility and allows their style to evolve over time. For instance, you can lease a jacket for a minimum of 4 months. If you feel like changing style, you can select a new jacket and hand in the old one.
  2. Every Better World Fashion product comes with an unlimited buy-back guarantee. You get a 50% discount on any new Better World Fashion product in the same price category when you return your old product to them. How old, how worn or how damaged it is doesn't matter. That way, they can create new products from the materials of your old products.

Read more in Harvard Business Review or from an EMF Case Study.

Main activity field:

Main results: 

Better World Fashion produces new quality products from waste materials. Their primary material, leather, is from discarded post-consumer products collected by NGOs. The lining used in the jackets and bags is made from discarded plastic bottles and the harness for the aprons is made of old suspenders.

Likewise, the insulation in the oven mitts and pot holders is from worn out professional thermal jackets. The production process does not use chemicals or water - the leather is cleansed in sawdust before being reused. An LCA study carried out at Aalborg University concluded that in comparison with a leather jacket from virgin materials, a Better World Fashion jacket will save 340 litres of water, 16 kg of carbon dioxide, 6 kg of rubbish and 3.75 kg of chemicals.