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Waste Not
Why a Circular Dress Code Will Always Be in Style

Technology is the magic thread weaving the circular textile narrative together to ensure that fashion isn’t just a statement — but a sustainable, end-to-end lifecycle that respects our planet.

From catwalk to closet, the fashion industry has long been synonymous with innovation and glamor. But today, being fashionable doesn’t mean just setting trends — it means leading the charge towards a more sustainable future.

Thanks to a growing number of trailblazing companies and their advanced technologies, we are inching closer to the vision of a circular textile industry — where sustainability is always on trend.

A vision for our eyes and planet

Forward-thinking brands are championing a new, circular fashion ethos. In this transformative vision, every garment has a lifecycle that keeps it in use for as long as possible and eventually returns it to the supply chain, not the landfill. It's not just a paradigm shift — it's a complete overhaul of the fashion industry's DNA.

Technology is key to success. It's the magic thread weaving the circular textile narrative together to ensure that fashion isn’t just a statement — but a sustainable, end-to-end lifecycle that respects our planet.

The courage to create change

Transitioning to circularity is complex; but it’s also achievable. Pioneers such as TEXAID — a renowned European company specializing in the collection, sorting, repairing, reselling and recycling of used textiles — are leading the charge. TEXAID systems identify and sort garments for recycling, ensuring that materials are repurposed — thereby minimizing waste and creating the essential link between brands, consumers and a recycling service — creating a closed, circular loop for millions of garments.

Avery Dennison, a provider of market-leading digital identification solutions for the apparel industry, recently joined forces with TEXAID to address the challenges of textile waste management ahead of incoming regulatory changes in the EU. A key aspect of this collaboration is the integration of cutting-edge technologies. Avery Dennison will work with TEXAID to explore how technology can enable traceability of garments through the sorting and recycling process. Digital identifiers, tracked via Avery Dennison’s connected-product cloud platform, will aid TEXAID in processing apparel into relevant resale or recycling streams.

Technology: The loom of the future

Technology offers an unprecedented opportunity to track and trace products throughout their lifecycle. It's not just about keeping tabs — it's about building trust, fostering responsible consumption, and enhancing brand loyalty.

We are quickly reaching the day when every brand owner can offer their customers a comprehensive view of a garment’s journey — from the raw material stage to the retail rack — and brand owners can follow the garment to the end of life.

Last year, Avery Dennison acquired TexTrace — a technology developer that specializes in custom-made woven and knitted RFID products which can be sewn onto or inserted into garments. Brand labels with built-in RFID are an all-in-one solution for product branding; brand and theft protection; product availability; consumer interaction; and enhanced convenience, such as self-checkout. Future possibilities could offer unprecedented supplier and materials information to enable a circular economy through recommerce and recycling — providing the opportunity to gain insights into the true carbon footprint of the garment.

Embracing the 'end of life'

In a circular fashion model, the concept of 'end of life' takes on a new meaning — it is not an ending, but a transformation. Technologies enable us to extend the lifecycle of a product, recycle it, or even repurpose it for a completely new use.

Earlier this year, Avery Dennison invested in Circ — a US-based chemical recycler focused on harvesting new yarns from mixed textile waste. The investment will allow apparel brands to recycle mixed-textile waste streams — such as polyester-cotton blends — into high-quality, cellulose- or PET-based yarns for use in new apparel production.

Circularity isn't just a vision — it’s an invitation to brand owners to lead by example and pioneer a fashion revolution. By incorporating technologies that facilitate circularity, we can turn every thread into a narrative of sustainability.

So, let's not just set trends — let's shape the future of fashion. After all, the future of style is circular.