Ready? There are only two months until the end of this decade. It is slightly jarring to think about it from that perspective but it does offer a clear reminder that time keeps moving forward. Before we know it another decade will be coming to a close. Think about the last ten years and the kinds of shifts we’ve seen in what we do and how we do it. In the next ten years we will see a major transformation of the apparel industry. Brands will actively move away from resourcing raw materials and over-production strategies to more efficient circular business models that are not only more environmentally sustainable, they are more aligned with consumers lifestyles.
Becoming a circular business is inevitable.
Time is running out for the current model. The model where brands create all of their revenue in one shot by selling a product just once, does not grow — by its very nature. Today the only way a company can generate more revenue is if they make and sell more stuff. The more-and-more model has a breaking point as linear business models run out of options to find new markets or create new categories to sell. Additionally, the planet doesn’t have more to give. We know that everything we need to produce apparel — from the raw materials to the oil and gas to power production and transportation — is at risk with the climate crisis, making the resources we do have even more precious, scarce and expensive.
A circular company, by contrast, generates revenue from the product throughout its entire lifecycle. This spreads costs across multiple uses of the same product, reducing risk, and becoming more efficient within existing resources. The circular model is designed to grow revenue and reduce operational costs over time. And, that is only the financial benefit, think about how many natural resources are saved if half the amount of product is created to achieve that same revenue. The benefit of the reduced environmental impact is the way we begin to heal the planet that has been exploited in the linear model.
All of us want to do the right thing when we make our purchases, we don’t want to be complicit in the harm of other people or the planet. When you purchase something that has been used before, you want to know what positive impact they make. At The Renewal Workshop we provide that transparency to the customer. We measure and collect data at the individual product level to show the power of circular business for brands and consumers alike. First, we measure how much product comes to us instead of going to landfill. We then show the environmental savings of buying Renewed rather than New.
We have 20 brand partners who are now on their circular journey because of our partnership.
The transition to circular business is happening. Leading companies are not just reselling their products, they are rethinking how they generate revenue, how to design their products and systems, and how they create their own ecosystems to flow materials through multiple uses and lives. They see that the time for transformation is now.