No one has more distinct cycles than fashion. Fashions are temporary cyclical phenomena adopted by consumers for a particular period and situation.
Consequently, the fashion life cycle is the lifespan of a particular fashion during which fashion exists, particular look, shape, or type of clothing item. Each fashion flows into five stages during its life cycle and these stages are the introduction, increase, Peak/Saturation, Decline, and Out-of-fashion stage.
During the phase of introduction, fashion or trend is introduced by a designer or outlet to an exclusive audience. In the increase stage style begins gaining momentum and traction in the fashion industry, officially receiving the coveted “trend” label. During this phase, fashion leaders and trendsetters wear outfits that incorporate the idea, from social media influencers to celebrities, to increase consumer demand.
During the peak/saturation phase, fashion is made common to the public and is available at stores. This stage defines how long a fashion or trend will remain in the markets, maybe one year or even ten years for some products. There is no such set pattern for this stage, it depends on the length of the up to the peak in the way it reaches. The phase of decline in fashion is offered at discounted prices in retail stores. Finally, in the old-fashioned phase, fashion becomes obsolete and is almost not available in any store.
Until now, the production and consumption model has been linear, based on take-out, a consumer model that causes countless environmental problems.
What is needed is to introduce a circular economic model into the fashion cycle, taking into account in a new perspective all the industrial processes and the five phases we talked about before.
So let’s talk about how circularity is determined by the reuse of the product that excludes the use of new raw materials.
This is based on three principles: eliminating waste and pollution, keeping products and materials in use, and regenerating natural systems. For fashion, it translates into:
- ensure that all products are used more
- are made to be remade
- are made with safe and recycled, renewable, or biodegradable inputs.
As regards disposal Landfill, incineration, and waste to energy are not part of a circular economy: products and their materials must be designed and manufactured to be disassembled so that they can be reused, remade, recycled, and – where appropriate, and after maximum use and cycle – composted safely.
Also the Packaging shall be kept to a minimum and shall be made of materials that are also reusable, recyclable, or compostable in accordance with the principles of a circular economy for plastics or other packaging materials.