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In search of the agents responsible: circular fashion in the current market

Assign blame is not the same as trying to find out who’s responsible for a certain phenomenon. Blaming someone carries a symbolic burden that, although it’s justified and unavoidable in some cases, contributes to generating an atmosphere of animosity and enmity that complicates taking common decisions aimed at reaching agreements. However, holding a specific agent accountable for action or effect can help us understand why a decision is made, its possible consequences, and give us essential information to correct it, knowing where to allocate resources and energy.

It is clear that the irruption of fast fashion materialized in large corporations and huge business tycoons, has meant a before and after in a system that, in recent decades, has not ceased to be subject to countless changes and unprecedented transformations. But is this system a response to customers’ needs, or is its appearance the trigger for a new mindset on the part of consumers? Blaming one of the two parties for the fatal effects that this way of making and understanding fashion, based on huge amounts of waste, the lack of environmental and social ethics and economies of scale, it’s not worth it.

However, trying to find out who is responsible for this unprecedented phenomenon can be very helpful. And the truth is that it is neither one nor the other. We could say that fast fashion is the result of a set of events and characteristics that, together with a generational change and endless advances in globalization, technology and distribution, made fashion extremely democratic. Much closer to an audience that demanded lower prices and a greater supply of products, but much more distant from the ecosystem that provides this and many other sectors with essential raw materials, which now run the risk of disappearing.

It is impossible to avoid talking about the economic component as a fundamental factor of these models that, although they are far from how the luxury market understands fashion,  have also seen in these new possibilities a way to increase and consolidate their profit margins. Producing costs much less, strictly numerically speaking, and generating waste seems to have no cost. In fact, it is much cheaper to discard everything that is considered useless, than to give it a second life or try to find alternatives where they can be used, thus reducing the environmental impact and contributing to generate a much more responsible model.

So, if big brands seem to have found in this aggressive and maximalist model their economic panacea, who should take the first step to change the foundations on which the fashion industry is built? The end customers. We have been led to believe for a long time that clients are the last link in a chain conceived and created by a group of powerful agents with the ability to decide what to do and what not to do, but it is a fallacy. We, as consumers, have the power to decide which brands, projects or initiatives goes ahead and are consolidated in the market, through our acts and decisions as a consequence of a process, conscious and unconscious, of internal reflection and debate. And in the same way, we are capable of redefining the pillars of the models already established, leading them towards forms of production that are much more connected to the reality and needs of the world in which we live.

Why are there brands included in the fast fashion segment that are now committed to sustainability, at least apparently, in the form of collaborations with designers known for reducing resources to a minimum or projects that have been seeking solutions to the prevailing overproduction in today’s world for years? Because they have realized that society is increasingly aware that the model implemented, and from which they have made the most of in recent years, has no future. Circularity begins to consolidate as a fundamental value in the minds of consumers, capable of destroying or exponentially raising a brand. And while there are still many steps to be taken, materializing the discourse and the image that is being projected in real and permanent changes over time, there is no doubt we are on the right track.

Synergies between creatives, projects and companies can help implement circular fashion models in a system. On the one hand, those for whom this way of understanding and making fashion is indisputable, and whose initiatives were created from the beginning on this pillar. On the other hand, agents capable of bringing these models closer to the large market, finding a balance in which the needs of all the parties involved are satisfied, and taking advantage of their productive, economic and influencing capacities to consolidate the changes little by little. There are no culprits, but responsible ones capable of making fashion (and the world) a better place.


 By David Alarcón Castejón

Profesión: Editor de moda freelance & PR

CV: Graduado en Marketing y después de haber colaborado con distintas revistas independientes, nacionales e internacionales, como Vein Magazine, Fucking Young! o Herdes, David Alarcón trabaja actualmente como online content editor de la cabecera internacional Metal Magazine en Madrid, además de ser responsable de comunicación y prensa de la firma de moda emergente Marlo Studio. Habiendo publicado en Vanity Teen, Kluid Magazine o Wag1 Magazine, conduce su propia sección en el podcast La Moda Que Nos Parió.

The Concept of Circular Economy

According to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, “the circular economy refers to an industrial economy that is restorative by intention; aims to rely on renewable energy; minimises, tracks and eliminates the use of toxic chemicals; and eradicates waste through careful design ”; being its main proposal to understand the operation and optimization of systems instead of their components.

A circular economy represents not only a paradigm shift in which waste is rebuilt into resources through reuse and recycling, but it is also about achieving a greater economic boost through efficiency in the use of resources and their industrial transformation . And although in recent decades many minds have been inspired by the questions posed by the circular economy, today these questions are being answered not only by the most environmentalist profiles but by the bulk of the population, from the European Commission (which has developed a plan on Circular Economy for the Year 2025), to large consultancies such as McKinsey (which has just published a report on the impacts of fashion on climate change) to financial institutions (ESG *) .

Video: The basic concept of circular economy, from Ellen MacArthur Foundation.

However, to go from a linear economy based on the “make-use-throw” system to a restorative economy, it requires more than recovery or recycling of waste into new products through circular systems. In its project “The Great recovery”, the Royal Society of Arts (RSA) established a series of guidelines supposed to help design professionals to introduce regeneration as another design principle within their future products and services.

Image: RSA’s The Great Recovery project product and service design.

But to achieve a true paradigm shift we need to pay attention to the scale of these systems; to the biomaterials used in these models and to their sustainable regeneration; to the decarbonization of production systems and the implementation of renewable energies and above all, we must think about how these new economic models are contributing to local, regional and global social and environmental regeneration; and although it is true that we have not yet achieved it, we have undoubtedly set the path to get there. Not to every single product but to our lifestyle and humanness.

A clear example of this is the city of Amsterdam, which recently announced its Transition Plan “The Amsterdam city donut” for the year 2050, following the name given to these models almost a decade ago by the economist Kate Raworth. Among the companies leading this transition plan, it is not surprising to find one of the fashion pioneers in terms of bringing circularity to the fashion industry: Fashion for Good, a global platform for innovation, aiming to make all fashion good, sparking and scaling innovation and by doing so, bringing the whole industry together.

All these changes require a profound transformation of the companies’ value chain and if there is no doubt about one thing, is that each one of them will require a series of actions and efforts to carry them out. Brands such as Stella McCartney and Adidas are working collaboratively to create collections in which to explore and improve the qualities of materials based on the durability of the product, while making the production chain more transparent and traceable; MUD Jeans, a leading brand founded in the Netherlands incorporates a circular business model to produce its popular items. In addition to its high quality long lasting pieces designed from eco-friendly materials including GOTS certified organic and recycled cotton, customers can rent jeans, instead of buying them, and when they need a new pair, return them to MUD to be recycled into new denim and receive a discount on their next pair. Customers can even recycle other brands’ jeans as long as they are made from at least 96% of pure cotton. And The R Collective has taken it one step further with the launch of ‘Refashioned’, an on-demand service allowing customers to choose from a 20 piece collection and tailoring it to their size and preferred fabric. This model fully embodies slow and circular fashion where instead of producing mass amounts of clothing items that may not sell, the label is able to make the exact needed products to order, thus eliminating the potential waste!

Image: MUD jeans product life-cycle. From:

Companies that operate under a “closed-loop” model control the creation of their products, but are also responsible for their end of life, as well as their recovery and reuse. This has accelerated a transition that has long been forging in an increasingly liquid society: the shift from the consumption of products to the use of services, and all that this entails. Second-hand rental and sale systems (such as The RealReal, Vestiaire Collective, Ecodicta or Lamasmona); infrastructures for the correct collection of waste, separation and subsequent recycling (such as the Europeanproject ReHub led by Euratex, which will mean the creation of 5 textile recycling hubs in Europe); and digital technologies that allow better monitoring of resources, making radical transparency real.

In the field of materials, a new philosophy is nourishing: materials are created avoiding waste-generation and eliminating pollution, and extended durability and continuous improvement of the production process are creation drivers. One of the best representatives of this practices is Agraloop, from Circular Systems, an American company specialized in transforming food waste into innovative fibers for the fashion industry.

Image: Agraloop Process Overview from Waste Stream to garment manufacturing. From:

In the same line of action, although from a radically opposite perspective, we find an alternative to the industrial production of materials: regenerative organic agriculture. The change from an industrial production to these new, and at the same time ancestral, practices can contribute significantly to increasing the absorption of carbon by the soil, conserving water, restoring biodiversity and consequently, protecting animals and contributing to the economic stability of farmers, since through actions for gender equality, such as the payment of equal wages or indiscriminate access to education, the social and economic position of workers can improve. Undoubtedly, an attractive path that has already been undertaken by international companies such as The North face or Timberland, who in 2030 have set the goal of being 100% circular.

So, how can we really create the business models that make a real change? we all should take responsibility for the impacts our designs are doing while being produced or consumed. The first step in doing so is the realization that a business model should always be broader than just a product or a wish. Realizing that  we humans should not aim to not making more damage, but to create more good comes next. Let’s dare to care, innovate!


By Blanca Gomara,

Sustainable Fashion Consultant

Theory into practice: young designers bet on circular fashion.

Words by David Alarcón

Is it a desire or an imperative need? Sometimes, when we talk about circular fashion, sustainability or production patterns that means the use of waste in the form of a second life or new garments with which to make the most of existing resources, I have the feeling that the focus is on the concept, while its materialization tends to be left behind. And of course, it is not the emerging designers who invest their time in speeches and empty words, but a large part of consumers and big companies, who despite the situation the world is facing, are still unable to understand the magnitude of the problem and the imminent danger that confronts us. Young designers and recent graduates are well aware of what circularity means. The same happens with concepts such as responsibility and ethics. And they know it precisely because they have been forced, in a certain sense, to apply it to their projects and brands.

We are living in an era defined by the economic recession, precariousness and lack of resources, to which we must add the insufficient support in certain contexts towards the creatives who will be the future big names in fashion. Three of the pillars of this economic model, consisting of reduction, reuse and recycling, are part of their lives, whether they want to or not. Few of them can supply themselves with textiles and materials unlimitedly, without paying attention to the cost involved. Almost none of them can afford to discard leftover fabrics once a garment is made. The very limited resources, coupled with an extraordinary creativity and great passion for this profession, turn circularity and consciousness into two fundamental pillars of the new generation of designers.

Special mention should be made on projects such as the one undertaken by the Spanish emerging fashion brand Reparto Studio , whose last collection was entirely base based on the upcycling technique. Was this an express intention coming from the design duo, aware of the need to reverse the linear and expansive model that has prevailed in the sector? It may be, but what is clear is that it was a way to subsist in a difficult industry that forces designers to make the intellect their greatest ally, and that threatens to make all those who are not part of a large conglomerate or a large-scale supply chain disappear, even more in countries where fashion is not considered as culture. It’s here where emerging design is continually disconnected from functionality, categorized as art devoid of practicality.

It is worth highlighting the brand’s efforts to bring this new way of understanding fashion closer, which despite breaking with the intensive system, draws from the past and the traditional manufacturing techniques, to the public, reducing the profit margins and getting very competitive prices for a young brand. In their case, they did so by expanding the range of proposals, including accessories made from leftovers from previous collections, in addition to garments resulting from many hours of work.

Meanwhile, other brands try to make circularity happen through coalitions with large platforms, being able to reach a greater number of people and spreading the message in society. A good example of this was the collection presented by María Escoté  in collaboration with Wallapop at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Madrid, made from articles that users of the application had previously put on sale, converting them all in a collection worth of being unveiled on a catwalk. More experienced brands such as Moisés Nieto  show their commitment to this cause in the form of a new service, available on his website, in which he invites his regular customers to create new garments from pieces they already have in their closets. Technique and know-how at the service of the end user, who demands uniqueness, exclusivity and differentiation. Something that can be perfectly achieved from existing elements, taking advantage of their sentimental and symbolic value to turn them into relics capable of overcoming the passage of time.

From proposals such as the one leaded by Danish designer Bettina Bakdal , who being exhausted from a meaningless production model decided to start creating from recycled scarves and fabrics, to Arturo Obegero’s  collection, who has just made his debut at Paris Fashion Week and works exclusively with leftover fabrics from haute couture houses, acknowledging not wanting to champion responsibility by considering that it is a duty to which we all must be committed.

It is clear that, whether due to social and environmental awareness or to necessity, issues such as circularity or sustainability are present in the discourse and work of young designers. And the major challenge they face now is to bring it closer to a generation of consumers who want to look different in front of the mirror every day. A trend accentuated by social networks and a model of society based on the image, who has got used to making fashion something to hang out, buying at bargain prices and being able to not think beyond the visible in terms of production, ethics and responsibility. But if there is one thing that unites younger consumers and those who are already betting on these new production models, it is the desire to be unique and different from others. And that is a differential factor that circular fashion starts to cling to, to make the most of it.

Nombre: David Alarcón Castejón

Profesión: Editor de moda freelance & PR

CV: Graduado en Marketing y después de haber colaborado con distintas revistas independientes, nacionales e internacionales, como Vein Magazine, Fucking Young! o Herdes, David Alarcón trabaja actualmente como online content editor de la cabecera internacional Metal Magazine en Madrid, además de ser responsable de comunicación y prensa de la firma de moda emergente Marlo Studio. Habiendo publicado en Vanity Teen, Kluid Magazine o Wag1 Magazine, conduce su propia sección en el podcast La Moda Que Nos Parió.



REPRINT CERAMICS is actually the result of the combination of two innovative concepts: the 3D clay printing technique developed by Coudre and the re/upcycling method for ceramics by Fabrique Publique. The Worth project brought the two together. The idea was planted at the Design week in Milan 2019, where Fabrique Publique met with one of the Worth representatives. Later on, Coudre and Fabrique Publique were introduced to each other and it immediately clicked, both professionally as well as personally.


The project was born out of the need to provide more circular options for the 3D clay printing industry. By using post-industrial and post-consumer ceramics’ waste as a resource for making new high-quality products, the project wants to show that the use of waste can reduce supply chain costs and improve the ecological footprint. Moreover, during the project it became clear that the recycled clay provides further benefits, compared to regular clay, in the sense that it is stronger and more stable after second firing.

The challenge of our project is the multi-tiered output that has to be achieved in a relatively short period of time. This output consists of 4 pillars:

– a 3D printed lamp with recycled content;

– pre-made recycled clay packages;

– an open-source knowledge platform;

– workshops and consultancy: how to print with our recipe.


The final prototype of the lamp was developed after thorough research and a series of tests into the additives that were necessary to ensure the plasticity of the clay and perfect viscosity for extrusion with the 3D printer. After that we continued working on the designs. At DDW20, we presented (digitally) our first tests with the 30 % of recycled material as well as some first draft designs. The development of the recycled clay packages went hand in hand with the research and testing for the lamps. Crucial to both the lamps and the clay packages was to find a solution for the supply of the discarded ceramics as well as for grinding it. Luckily, we were approached by Dutch thrift shops, who wanted to get rid of their ceramics’ waste materials and were looking for a co-operation with us. THE STORY OF REPRINT CERAMICS This means continuity in the supply of waste materials. For the grinder, it is a bit more complicated. Right now, we are looking into the possibilities of buying a grinder in Breda, to start locally with grinding the materials and making the clay packages. This will be done with an atelier that works with people that have a distance to the labour market. Funding for the grinder was provided by the commune of Breda.


We managed to find a good working relation even though the Corona crisis forced us to work together online instead of working together in the workshop. Every week we exchanged views and discussed next steps in the process. We really loved the interaction and being fortunate to take decisions as a group instead of individually. Further, the fact that we were able to work so well together, enabled us to dive deeper and crystallise our ideas into real products.


We would start with a small-scale production. The lamps will be made to order, printed locally and recycled locally. In the beginning, the lamps will therefore be printed from our locations in Barcelona, for distribution in Spain/Portugal, and in Breda, for other countries. If this is successful, co-operation will be sought with 3D clay printers in other EU countries to print the lamps locally there with local clay and local recycling.


For us its clear, we would not have been able to develop this project without the input of the other partner and without the support of the Worth Partnership.

For more information please visit the website or contact Heineke de Leeuw (

Rome is my Runway#2: ZEROBARRACENTO parades for ALTAROMA 2021 at Cinecittà

Rome Fashion Week (18-20 February 2021) has just ended in the Italian capital, hosted by the magical and stimulating studios of Cinecittà. This year was an all-digital version of the fashion shows, which allowed a free and virtual meeting through the Altaroma Digital Runway platform, between professionals in the fashion sector, buyers and fans.

Once again Altaroma, as a driving force and explorer of emerging Italian fashion and new trends, has managed to identify and accentuate the important focus that the fashion system must pursue as a future value: sustainability.

ZEROBARRACENTO presented the autumn winter 2021/2022 collection “THE RISE OF 0 WASTE FASHION”, an expression of moderation and awareness, created following the values of the brand: 0% waste and gender, 100% sustainability, which means traceability, transparency and inclusiveness. In this collection there is a bold expression of fluidity, versatility, equality and modularity. The seasonless garments with deconstructed shapes were able to convey on the catwalk the sense of calm and balance that characterize the new collection. An ideal setting created by lighting and the symbolic colors of the expressive freedom that ZEROBARRACENTO represents. Faithful to its identity, the show was a perfect representation of ZEROBARRACENTO’s DNA: a place outside of gender, age and time. The colors (Blue leap, Black Onyx, Forged Grey, Amber Gold, Red Clay e Rhododendron) are compact and play on the combination of complementary shades. The materials used, thanks to the Re.VerSoTM circular economy, transparent and traceable production process, combines science and technology, obtaining high quality, 100% made in Italy, re-engineered wool and baby camel. The precious drape fit is given by 100% BembergTM by Asahi Kasei fabrics. The new generation material is made from the smart-tech transformation of cotton linter pre-consumer materials and converted through a traceable and transparent closed loop process.

Big part of the materials selected for this collection are sourced from the C.L.A.S.S. SMART SHOP, the inspirational materials’ bank and samples’ e-shop, that includes a premium selection of the C.L.A.S.S. Material Hub’s materials, for students, designers and brands willing to explore and test sustainable fabrics. The patterns are developed, as in all ZEROBARRACENTO collections, with zero-waste technique that eliminates textile waste in the design phase, an approach that helps reduce the use of raw materials.
Generally, 15% of the raw material is wasted in the cutting room. The search for traceability and transparency continues. As always, both design and production take place in
Italy, even the materials are all made in Italy, coming from certified suppliers and the production chain is circular, not linear. A supply chain that is told in a totally transparent way on the brand website dedicated to the increasingly aware contemporary consumer.

The collection, available on the Altaroma – Showcase website, will remain visible online for all buyers until May 31, 2021.

For further information please contact:
Rebecca Giraldi



The Andalusian designer Leandro Cano presents SIEMPRE A TU VERA

For the spring-summer season 2021, the Andalusian designer Leandro Cano  brings with his collection SIEMPRE A TU VERA  the iconic Spanish singers to the time of the unveiling cinema, as a continuation of the inspiration of these Spanish artists that he presented last March in Paris. As a novelty, in this collection, Leandro introduces for the first time male clothes within his proposal.

With SIEMPRE A TU VERA, Leandro Cano closes this artistic collection divided in two seasons about these great women who have been inspiration and pioneers of the advancement of women in society. Moreover, as the name of the collection indicates (SIEMPRE A TU VERA/ALWAYS AT YOUR SIDE), in the turbulent times we are living, means that we keep on working and fighting with the same illusion as always.

As in the previous collection, all the women’s dresses have been made following the same silhouette. This time, it is a mini dress with a box neck and and padded skirt. Men’s line is composed by a jumpsuit, a maxi shirt, an oversized bomber, legging, canvas pants, a raffia cropped jacket and padded underwear. As can be seen in the looks, the man has been given the volume at the top, and the women at the bottom, creating the mirror effect between them.

Discover more about Leandro’ collection on his instagram profile 





With biophilic design the natural world enters into build spaces

Have you ever heard the word “Biophilia”?  It is a relatively new term (first used in 1964) that can be translated to ‘the love of living things’.

The concept behind it is simple: well being can be improved by connecting humans with nature. With biophilic design, the characteristics of the natural world will be able to enter into built spaces, bringing real benefits to the people who use them. The integration of biophilic design in modern workplaces, for example, results in an increase in productivity and creativity of the employees.

Discover more about this trend and get inspired! 





INNOVATION, SUSTAINABILITY AND INCLUSION: the keywords to the future of design

The advent of the Covid-19 pandemic has radically changed the way we work, use technology, and relate to others, bringing society’s attention back to the impact of man on nature more than ever before.

In the future, it will be more important than ever to work on creative ideas able to bring innovation into our everyday life, without forgetting to focus on topics that are on the international agenda, like the exploitation of ecosystems. It is indeed important to focus on the consumers’ needs but it is also important to work on solutions that are sustainable and inclusive.

“Young European designers are committed to questioning the pillars of society, to highlight the defects of our business models and production processes, to rethink the problem of the exploitation of ecosystems by experimenting with new materials, innovative production models and alternative solutions that are crying out for digitization, multifunctionality and collaboration in the name of sustainability and inclusion”, explains Korinna Mollá of Aitex, leader of the Implementing Team of WORTH Partnership Project.

WORTH Third call winning projects are a good example of how this can be done, as they worked on innovative ideas, without forgetting those focal points.

Among all the projects focused on these topics, if we think about sustainability, “Modifiable Vegan Bag Collection”, for example, worked on a collection of bags made with bio/vegan leather created from apple waste focusing on the fact that the leather industry is one of the most polluting in the world and the number of customers who are reluctant to buy animal leather accessories is growing. The garment can be also created  with a special eye to the environment as done by the project “Agogic- Be prepared for more”, women’s outerwear that combines style, technology and sustainability In this case the 4 garments in the collection, have been created using only materials of responsible origin, high performance and eco-friendly materials such as recycled nylon, Primaloft and Polartec Power Air.

Sustainability also means to extend the life of products, so they will not be thrown away, that is what the WORTH Projects ENAONA and VIVID worked on. The first projects idea is a collection of shoes with modular jeweled heels and recyclable components, combined in a unique design. The shoes of the ENAONA collection give a unique experience to the wearer, offering comfort and wearability as well as the possibility to reuse them and add a personal and distinctive touch. Style and sustainability often do not go hand in hand, which is why it is sometimes necessary to invent innovative solutions that can combine them. The second project, VIVID, featured curtains for interior decoration whose appearance changes over time thanks to the particular mix of materials used to make them. The aging of the curtains, in this case intentionally designed, makes them highly innovative. The idea is not only to create a design that is interesting, but also to encourage a debate on sustainability and the relationship we have with our assets over time.

The other keyword  necessary to focus on is “inclusivity”, the WORTH project REFRAMD, for example worked on a collection of glasses created focusing on the design and production of glasses suitable to be worn with total comfort by people of colour. They started from a basic observation: glasses are not usually designed to fit people with low and wide nose bridges and found a solution that combines style and practicality.  The project Nova Underwear also focused on inclusion, but in this case they started by observing that very often medical/orthopaedic devices do not help a patient regain their everyday life. The project then worked on an innovative collection of bras for women diagnosed with breast cancer. Usage of skin care fabrics, and mineral fabrics with can stimulate microcirculation and skin tone, can aid the healing process and provides comfort during treatment, combining a design adapted for post-surgery but which is also fashionable.

If you are going to work on your next design project, think about sustainability and inclusion and do not forget to add a personal touch!