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In the ever-evolving landscape of fashion and clothing, sustainability is perhaps the biggest trend and buzzword to emerge over the past five years – a mega-trend with the potential to fundamentally re-shape the industry’s future. Gone are the days when organic cotton alone could claim a brand as sustainable; today’s consumers demand a holistic approach encompassing carbon footprint, climate neutrality and even climate positivity. Serious conversations take place on how to make clothing manufacturing sustainable and the end goal remains achieving a true circular economy. Some brands are leading the charge toward sustainable practices. Initiatives like On’s subscription sneaker Cyclon and collaborations like Bergans of Norway with Spinnova exemplify endeavors toward circularity. However, these efforts remain largely experimental, highlighting the challenges in creating functioning product cycles and recyclable products. Addressing the complexities of the circular economy involves aligning the entire value chain from production to disposal. The emphasis is not only on incorporating recycled materials but ensuring that the end product is itself recyclable. This requires designs that use mono-material or enable easy separation of individual components. The outdoor sector, known for synthetic materials, faces unique challenges, but the industry is gearing up to meet the upcoming legal requirements for recycling processes. As the fashion realm pivots towards sustainability, an increasing number of consumers and brands are embracing alternative consumption models. The second-hand market, set to double to 34 billion euros by 2025, has become the preferred method of slowing down fast fashion. Household brands like The North Face, Vaude, H&M and Zalando are integrating second-hand offerings alongside their regular collections. Rental services have also gained traction in 2023. Consumers now have the opportunity to use, rather than own, products ranging from luxury fashion to skiwear and outdoor equipment. This trend, especially appealing to Gen Z, aligns with the ethos of reducing unnecessary resource consumption.


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