In a collaboration with the Centre for Sustainable Fashion, online retail giant Asos has launched its first circular fashion collection featuring 29 trend-led styles designed in accordance with industry-leading circularity principles.
The launch of this collection follows the commitment made by Asos at the 2018 Copenhagen Fashion Summit to train all of their designers on circular design by 2020. Vanessa Spence, Head of Design at Asos, said “we’ve been on an incredible journey in Asos over the past few years to discover how circular design can work in practice in an organisation like Asos, and working closely with our suppliers to apply the circular design principles that we’ve set ourselves. What this collection shows is that you don’t need to make a choice between the circular economy and fashion, and that you can make sustainable products without compromising on design or on price.”
You can expect lots of 90’s prints, original blue denim and oversizing alongside a good variety of unisex designs. A particular highlight is the reversible black/white dress which can be worn as either a mini or maxi in either colour. Versatility is the key to sustainable fashion, and by designing clothes which can be styled in multiple ways to suit a range of different occasions, Asos is encouraging shoppers to make the most of their clothes.
The collection has faced backlash, however, with fast fashion critics accusing Asos of greenwashing on social media. Their main criticism is that at 29 pieces out of roughly 85,000, only 0.035% of the brand’s total offering is actually produced in this way. But with all of Asos’ designers now trained in circular principles, including durability, zero-waste design and versatility, it is highly likely that the collection will be expanded in due course.
Overall, it is undeniably a step in the right direction. Sustainable fashion has traditionally come at a high price, with the relatively small number of sustainable brands alienating the average shopper with high price points. Asos’ new collection brings sustainable fashion to a much wider audience, even going as far as featuring a QR code on each garment tag, allowing customers to learn more about how the product was made.
By adopting more environmentally-friendly production methods whilst keeping the prices in line with their other collections, Asos is allowing sustainability into the mainstream, opening the door for other fast fashion brands to follow suit.
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