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Deconstructing the clothing design process for a circular economy

Karell, Essi; Niinimäki, Kirsi

The transition from linear to circular fashion system(s) requires substantial changes at the level of legislation, infrastructure, technology, education, business and consumption. This exploratory study zooms into the business level, specifically into sustainable-minded clothing companies and their design practices. What happens in practice inside these companies and what are designers’ current concerns when aiming for sustainability and circularity in the clothing industry? Semi-structured expert interviews were conducted with five clothing designers. Findings of the study show that designers are not much acquainted with the existing sustainable/circular design strategies, tools and guidelines. Strong focus is still on material selection and clothing longevity. Some discussions also link to the use phase of garments and especially reuse. It is obvious that designers need more applied knowledge to support their design practice if aiming for a circular economy.
Published in: PLATE – Product lifetimes and the environment : 3rd PLATE Conference, September 18–20, 2019 Berlin, Germany, Universitätsverlag der TU Berlin
Published by ISBN 978-3-7983-3125-9