Second: Redesigning the Textile Recycling Experience Using a Circular Economy
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Environmental concerns have been growing within recent years, and actions to remedy the effects of human waste has sparked conversations across the globe. One factor that many often overlook is the environmental impact of the clothing industry, or fast fashion to be specific. According to Merriam-Webster, fast fashion refers to “an approach to the design, creation, and marketing of clothing fashions that emphasizes making fashion trends quickly and cheaply available to consumers” (2019). The rise of fast fashion has had detrimental effects on the environment along with fueling American consumerism due to its make-and-dispose business model. This thesis focuses on developing a circular economy in the fashion industry that challenges the make-and-dispose model and reexamines the textile recycling experience. The Ellen MacArthur Foundation defines that, “a circular economy is based on the principles of designing out waste and pollution, keeping products and materials in use, and regenerating natural systems (2017).” Large fashion brands such as H&M and Levi Strauss & Co. have begun employing clothing recycling methods into their business models, such as having clothing donation bins in stores. For this project, a textile drop-off donation bin connected to an online retail app and circular brand experience was prototyped to investigate the viability and sustainability of a circular business model in the fashion industry.