Circular Design for Fashion

The Ellen Macarthur foundation strives to promote a circular economy in a range of different fields. Today’s target? The clothing and textile industry. Sublime magazine finds out more about their latest book, and how it aims to disrupt the fast fashion industry.

It’s no secret the fashion production stream is one of the main drivers of the climate crisis. Its extortionate use of precious resources, high-production levels and ever-growing encouragement of excessive consumption is on a one-way track to ecological disaster, and sometimes it feels as though it’s spiralling out of our control. Yet, every once in a while, there’s a glimmer of hope that pops up – maybe it’s spotting a new sustainably-minded brand on your Instagram feed, or seeing your local businesses doing well. In this case, it’s an inspiring read.


“Circular Design for Fashion” is written and published by the Ellen Macarthur foundation, a sustainability-focused organisation looking to promote the benefits of a circular economy throughout different major fields.

Aimed at the great creative minds of the industry, this book’s clear and open manner makes for an approachable read to even those who may simply harbour curiosity on the subject. Concisely written and eye-opening, it explores the possibilities of circularity within fashion and breaks down simple and achievable ways to tackle the task of reducing waste. From targeting myths to investigating methods of production, it serves as a guide and a source of inspiration, a call to action to make a change for the greater good.


Filled with insightful facts, this work is a well-meshed collaboration between methodically-driven chapters, interlaced with snippets of different well-known designers’ inputs on their own individual journeys and how they’ve integrated their experiences with circularity into their brand’s design ethos. Through the pages, one finds contributions from names among the likes of Nigerian designer Nkwo Onwuka, luxury resale giant Vestiaire Collective and clothing repair services The Restory. Examples of brands taking on the challenge of designing for a circular economy are also explained, showcasing their own personal approaches to producing sustainably-minded products.


The takeaway? Hours of research, trialling different techniques and making mistakes, but never backing down until reaching the desired goal.

Overall, the book exudes a sense of hope, of openness to the endless possibilities there are to achieving circularity within the fashion industry. Reducing waste is not one-dimensional – it’s a creative process of trial and error, and thinking outside the box.


This work is a glimmer of hope – if we come together, we might just be able to help in the fight against climate change, one garment at a time.

You can purchase the book at The Circular Design for Fashion