The United Nations published a report earlier this year on the effects of climate change, its adaptation to its effects and the damage of the …

The United Nations published a report earlier this year on the effects of climate change, its adaptation to its effects and the damage of the effects. According to the report, famine and water suffering will soon begin to emerge, as changing weather conditions cause the death of crops and animals. In order to slow down the process, maybe even stop it in places, it is necessary to go back to our roots, to overhaul the soil! We take a look at the fashion that is starting to invest in agriculture.

I recently started to follow street style influencers on Instagram to get some inspiration, a little “hmm, it’s like who wears these clothes and how”. Making this sentence made me feel like I was participating in the game 10 years ago, though. The person I follow lives in Seoul. Jacquemus, Ami Paris, Loewe’s latest tracks are in it! To use them together, he takes us on a Saturday morning stroll through the city’s best vintage and second-hand stores. I liked it. Then he grabbed a jean jacket with tassels on the back. It’s all very convenient, until she utters the following sentence: “I take a photo to share on Instagram, I guess I don’t dress more than once, but I think it will suit me.” Since it is second hand, wearing it once does not legitimize the event.

There was a photo that went viral last November. A feeling of frustration was instilled in the beholder. It was angering. Because it actually invalidated the small steps we took in our own lives. It angered us because it was taking away our future. I’m talking about garbage waiting to be burned in the Atacama desert in Chile. If I said garbage, don’t get me wrong. Presumably worn only a few times, most of them were clothes for fast fashion brands. While the few straws we use make us feel guilty, when you see this garbage scene, you see that you do not make a significant difference in life. The Atacama desert is not a single example. In 2017, more than 37 million pieces of plastic trash were removed from the island of Handerson, located in the south of the Pacific Ocean.

Vegan Fashion Week has been held in Los Angeles for the past few years. This year’s events were on 13-15 June. In this context, clothes made from animal products, including silk and wool, are not exhibited, and the collections’ dissolution in nature is also considered.

The rapid increase in sales of trendy clothing brands because they are cheaper is also due to the idea that clothes are bought purely for Instagram exposure. In the second half of the 2000s, almost all of the 2010s, fast clothing was an industry in the fashion industry that dominated profit rates. In the second half of the 2010s, it was expected that the trend would slow down or, on the contrary, turn around when it became more popular to expose the ugly side of fashion and talk about it in the game of good cop – bad cop. On the contrary, fast fashion brands continue to live their golden age. It is customary that criminals are not only considered fast, but only because their production and consumption rates are much higher.

Even in e-commerce channels, many fast brands began to emerge. Shein had a $10 billion stake in the market at the end of 2020. The e-commerce brand is today seen as the beginning of the end. After all, we go the way of choosing one black sheep at a time. Shein has a structure that almost mimics social media algorithms. It scans Instagram feeds well and produces more of the popular ones. Just like an oasis for those who don’t want to be photographed twice in clothes. Cheaper, more options.

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Alibaba is another market that benefits with its cheap price policy. It has a volume of 8.4 in online shopping. In general, the fashion industry produces and sells clothes worth 150 billion dollars a year.

One of the most important representatives of circular fashion, CO. It presents the basic pieces that are expected to take place in the cabinets with a minimal aesthetic. Just as timeless.

Shirt in gathered cotton
8400 TL, CO

Let’s change this process, create a green cycle. It is important to know which materials are used in production. Will a piece be able to return to the soil biologically and organically when it is about to reach its milestone? Will these materials be able to feed the soil just like natural fertilizers? This is how a circular one differs from a sustainable and upcycled product. Will she be able, by magic, to remove all traces of her like she never existed before?

When the material from which a sweater is made is not organic, it can be transformed with different materials in different forms by going through the usual processes. This requires re-industrial processes. This is why recycling is not the best solution to the risk of depletion of natural resources. That’s why NGOs or business lines working in the field of sustainability underline that not every product labeled as “recycled” or “sustainable” is environmentally friendly and that giant brands do greenwashing. (Of course, recycling reduces the carbon footprint, litter size and pollution. So it’s important to know the whole story in the supply chain, not just what’s on the label.)

Did you know that the proportion of clothes produced since 2000 has doubled, but many products have been worn less than 10 times? According to the report of the United Nations, our clothes and the shoes produced are responsible for 8 percent of carbon emissions on a global scale. With every second that passes, the equivalent of a huge garbage truck is either burned or buried in the ground.

It takes 200 years for clothes produced from synthetic materials or designed by chemical processes to biodegrade. Meanwhile, wasteful elements such as plastic materials and tires that are thrown into the deserts and burned are revealed. Again, we all watched the car tires burned in the deserts in Qatar last winter on television.

my problem

Circular fashion requires seeing the big picture rather than a single product and the benefits of that single product. The product must have such potential that it can redefine all fashion systems. It should eliminate or minimize the waste and the pollution it spreads around during its design or production. But the most important thing is that it can be given a new life in natural ways. This recipe is made by Dame Ellen MacArthur. MacArthur is a navigator and in collaboration with the Science Museum in England, he founded the Ellen MacArthur Foundation and works on circular economics. The main purpose of the institution is to work on the climate crisis, the destruction of biodiversity, waste and environmental pollution. People from different networks, from the fashion industry to professors in academies, work together to create solutions.

The Ellen MacArthur Foundation published a book a few months ago. In a circular economy, it brought to the fore the fashion designers who contribute to and strive for a circular fashion. Ellen MacArthur ranks first when listing the steps that can be taken towards a circular fashion ecosystem. In order to contribute to sustainability, it lists investment in second-hand and vintage, upcycling and finally regenerative weaving materials. However, he adds: “In order to achieve global success, different industries need to come together and make a joint decision, instead of everyone chasing their own truth.”

The easiest way to reduce consumption is to stay away from items produced in a take-and-dispose mentality. It is necessary to look at what materials are used in production and how they are produced. Second-hand or vintage is always an option, but is your dress really made of materials that are strong enough to fall into the second-hand market?


The process starts with designing an item, a vehicle. How robust is the chosen instrument? Is the production process ethical? Have workers been paid? Have the animals been harmed? TENCEL recommends that you use an outfit you want to buy at least 30 times, and if it has any damaged spots, it should be repaired. In the meantime, you may want to consider selling in second-hand clothing apps. Exchange or rental is also an option.

In this bet, we now have people whose names we know by heart. About Gabriela Hearst or Stella McCartney. McCartney entered the lab last year and introduced the fashion world to Mylo and mushrooms. He used the “future of fashion” recipe and dedicated his Spring/Summer collection to it. No water is used in the production phase and almost no electricity is needed. “We don’t kill animals, we don’t cut down trees.” Gabriela Hearst, on the other hand, took concrete actions against the local communities living in the region where she was active and produced for her collection of this period.

Maisie Williams designed the Swipe Bag in collaboration with Coperni. The actor we know from Game of Thrones has been working as a sustainability ambassador lately. In this collection by Coperni, elements prepared from wood pulp and fruit pulp turn into fabrics, and fabrics into everyday bags. When the day comes and its lifespan ends, it can mix with the soil.

Developed by Maisie Williams with Coperni designers, the Swipe Bag is produced from apple peel and pulp to contribute to a “sustainable future”.

Mulberry is also preparing to launch a similar bag collection. The name of the collection is Lily Zero, a carbon neutral collection. (The nature-friendly new member of the Lily family, whom we met for the first time 10 years ago). The logic behind it is from farm to store. And throughout this process, being carbon neutral was taken into account. Mulberry had set dedications for 2035. This collection is one of the steps they took towards that end. All the operating methods of the factory they established in Somerset, England, are to keep carbon emissions at zero again… While promoting their new bags on Instagram, they said: “We want to turn all our business forms into regenerative agriculture and circular economy.”

Christy Dawn is a brand founded and on the rise in Australia. In order to connect with mother earth, being sustainable is not enough, we also need to determine cyclical techniques, it is written in the mantra of the brand. “Our future depends on it.” They also set up an enterprise for this. Logic from field to closet. In India, they are working on beautifying the soil in various soils and planting seeds. They keep in touch with local farmers using ancient formulas. They grow organic cotton. Christy Dawn can be a very small-scale brand. However, Kering, which has Gucci and Balenciaga under its roof, is also working on its own farms to contribute to the circular economy. Kering founded his initiative, the Regenerative Fund for Nature, in January 2021. He opened an agricultural area of ​​1 million hectares to use and started regenerative agriculture, where he would try to grow raw materials within five years. They will work to make the soil and minerals healthier with their agriculture. Gucci’s CEO, Marco Bizzari, said at the Copenhagen Fashion Summit last year that regenerative agriculture is the only way out for net-zero carbon emissions. North Face and Patagonia are also brands that create their own agricultural fields. They obtain their organic cotton from plants grown on these regenerated soils.


Mulberry set up his own factory to keep carbon emissions net-zero to contribute to the circular economy. Apart from The North Face and Patagonia, Kering, one of the biggest players in the industry, also established its own agricultural fields.

TENCEL is committed to achieving the goal of net-zero emissions by 2050, as well as increasing the transparency of its supply chain. In 2020, the first zero carbon TENCEL fibers in the branch were launched. In 2021, the scope of the zero carbon goal was rapidly expanded by including fibers with REFIBRA technology. Anticipating the increasing demand of brands for specialty fibers, Lenzing strengthens its production opportunities with its argumentative growth plan. In line with this plan, it is planned to open the world’s largest lyocell production facility in Thailand in early 2022. Florian Heubrandner, Lenzing Global Weaving Division Deputy Leader, said, “In 2022, we will focus on the development of our zero-carbon innovations that make a difference in weaving and fashion. Over the next ten years, we will undertake sustainability-focused innovations to realize our 2050 vision.” As TENCEL branded lyocell and modal fibers provide breathability, smoothness, natural softness and effective moisture management to the fabrics and tissues used, comfort is truly felt. Moreover, knowing that the work you use will return to nature when it expires, as a matter of fact, feels right.

So what does this new generation agriculture, regenerative agriculture, renewed soil mean? Presumably, the New York Times explains the subject best and compares it to a yoga practice. The editors wrote that the processes have a more spiritual side. Working with nature instead of controlling nature. This means that drugs and artificial fertilizers are not used in the first place. In this form, carbon emissions are reduced again. Regenerative agriculture can absorb more carbon dioxide and provide biodiversity around. Ordinary agriculture dies or becomes inoperable after a while due to the chemicals used. When the soil does not work, all living things in nature, from bees to other animals, have to leave their habitats. Since group harvesting events are planned in regenerative agriculture, nature is in a stable state.

Fibershed is a non-profit organization. It guides brands in sourcing hyper-local fabrics using the geo-marking formula. British designer Phoebe English is just one of the people working with Fibershed. While preparing his latest collection, he drew a circular area by centering his studio in London and traveled no more than 250 kilometers away. The raw materials of the weaving works he uses grow within this end, and the entire supply is again within this end. It was aimed to solve everything, from the purchase of yarns to the sewing workshops, within this 250-kilometer area.
It is in this way that nature, which we have just mentioned, finds its own stability. In short, natural materials must be produced through the most natural or regenerative agriculture possible. This approach also helps to cultivate the soil well. A stability is ensured in the harvest, every aspect is grown in its own place, the soil is cared for accordingly, and the loss of biodiversity is prevented.

This is the condition for the works we consume to blend into nature. It should be recyclable in cases where it cannot be mixed, most importantly, the investment should be made in durable cuts that can be used for a long time.

From industry leaders to independent brands, this book by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation brings together those working for circular fashion and economics.

Article: Aykun Tasdoner

Taken from ELLE Turkey June 2022 issue.

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Steve Parker

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