Our circle starts and ends with you. No matter how clever we are at creating new apparel solutions or how hard we work at encouraging the shift to a circular economy, we can't complete our circular mission without you. You have that much power. You can change the apparel business. At a time when there is so much that we feel powerless to change, this is place you can make a difference. Here are some easy steps to becoming a circular consumer.
Start with a question. Do I need it? If the answer is no and you still want it, that's okay. The power is in asking the question. Slowing down. Making a considered decision about acquisitions. I have a three thought rule: I have to need or want something three times before I'll buy it. This cut down my impulse purchases and helped me only bring things into my life that I really want, need and appreciate. It's made all of those decisions feel better. Those second or even fifth thoughts are a great way to hone your consuming choices.
Another wedding. A job interview. A one of a kind outing. Before adding one more one hit wardrobe wonder to the collection that's already sitting in the way back of your closet, ask yourself "What can I borrow?" Who among your friends has the dress or the purse or the down jacket that might fit your temporary need? If your social network can't outfit your adventure, you can still keep it circular by shopping Renewed or you can try thrifting.
You want it. You need it. How do you choose? Now which one do you pick?
From durability and design to materials and labor sourcing, there are a few circular factors to consider when making your choice. Consider how well made something is. The higher the quality, the more use you will get out of it or the more likely it can be resold for someone else to use and love. Buying things made from single natural fibers means that there are opportunities for recycling when the item is no longer usable. The biggest factor may be whether an option fits into or could be incorporated into our routines and habits. Choosing things we love from the start is the best way to get the most of it.
You wanted it. You needed it. You loved it. Now you're done with it. How are you going to keep it circular. The first rule is don't throw apparel or textiles into the trash. Find another use for things that can be used anymore. Re-homing your old clothes is the fastest and most fun way. Our co-founder, Nicole Bassett, throws Naked Lady parties for friends to swap out the things they don't want anymore.
For clothing that is beyond wear, the beauty of apparel is it can be transformed into something new. From the mundane - cleaning rags - to the sublime, great craft projects (Pinterest is full of great ideas)
Did you know that you can even send us some of your used clothing to renew? If you have clothes from any of our brand partners that you would like to add to the Renewal System we are happy to take them. Clothing that is in good condition may be Renewed and resold again, this helps us invest in finding solutions for everything that cannot be renewed. Learn more here.
Being circular is natural and it's social. It involves asking some questions about choices - the ones we make as consumers and the ones brands make as creators. It means thinking about the whole life of everything from the start. And, it involves community. All of us, working together to close the loop.
It's been 12 years since The Story of Stuff was released and so much has changed in that time. Here are a few changes for good that were driven by the convictions of involved citizens and the demands conscientious consumers.