Sustainability, ethical use, and guilt-free consumerism have been the buzzwords lately. A new term has been added to the mix: circular fashion. Derived from the collision of ethical fashion and circular economy ideas, circular fashion is all about ditching the typical fast fashion that moves linearly from make to use and then waste. Here, it is about being more considerate of all the elements in play, such as using less material, eliminating non-recyclable products, reducing water and energy use, and keeping harmful emissions in check.
Circular fashion has significantly developed recently, and numerous brands have adopted this approach in their designs. With research, it was found that wool is one of those materials that are inherently circular. This means that clothes made out of wool are one of the easiest ways to achieve the goal of making fashion ethical and sustainable.
What Makes Wool Circular?
In the simplest terms, wool is completely biodegradable and can be sourced sustainably. As it is recyclable and reusable, the fabric can last for years. A well-crafted woollen garment can last for two or three decades and can even be passed down through generations if treated right. At the end of its useful life, the material can return to the earth only to enrich the land and grass that feeds the sheep from whom the wool is obtained.
Here are all the other reasons that make wool essential in circular textiles:
Of all the fabrics you will find on earth, you can wear wool more before washing. The natural properties of wool, such as odour resistance and resilience, further enable using less water and energy to keep the garment pristine. Moreover, wool is washed at lower temperatures and air-dried for best results, thus reducing the impact these processes have on the environment.
Quickly deteriorating clothes are one of the reasons the fashion industry is being blamed for landfills. When clothes are made to last, the cost of producing them and the impact its production leaves can be balanced. Since wool lasts longer than most other fibres available, using clothes from it can reduce the environmental impact. Considering the lower washing frequency and reusability, fewer clothes are purchased by the users, making the fashion industry favourable to the environment.
Free from Microplastic Pollution
Microplastic pollution is another crime that the fashion industry is accused of. There is no fabric in the world that does not shed fibres. However, wool fibres are unlike many others. They are biodegradable in soil and water and do not add to microplastic pollution like acrylic or rayon. Synthetic clothes, with their need for frequent washing, release numerous pollutants and utilise energy excessively, making fashion highly unsustainable.
What Should the Circular Fashion Industry Look Like?
Moving away from fast fashion, applying a circular economy in the fashion industry involves developing environment-friendly design strategies. Sticking to sustainable materials is essential, no matter what else is in the market. Recycling technologies should be embraced, and reusing clothes should be taken seriously.
Fashion has grown in many ways since time immemorial. Everyone needs to make wiser choices about what they wear because this is an integral step in sustainability. If you don’t consider what is good for the environment, there won’t be many chances to find out what looks good on you.