Circ Lyocell, a fabric derived from 50% recycled textile waste, has been used for the first time in the luxury fashion market, reflecting increasing demand for circularity and responsible design in the fashion industry.
The textile-to-textile recycling company responsible for creating the fabric, Circ, uses hydrothermal technology to make lyocell and polyester materials out of polycotton blended fabric waste. Designer Mara Hoffman, in partnership with Circ, designed the new dress line, which used the company’s lyocell fabric made from 50% recycled textiles and 50% FSC-certified cellulosic pulp.
Dress Line Aims to Generate Interest in Circ, Sustainable Textiles
The fashion industry is responsible for 10% of global emissions and consumes more energy than the shipping and aviation industries combined, according to the United Nations. According to Hoffman and Circ, many fellow brands, innovators, and supply chain partners agree that the massive industry footprint must be attended to promptly.
“In 2015, we made a commitment to make sustainability our framework, and part of that journey has been to connect with like-minded people and organizations,” said Mara Hoffman, founder and creative director of her namesake brand. “We first met Circ over five years ago, and to finally get to work with their lyocell, a feat of passion, science, and technology, was amazing. Our hope is that this collaboration will generate awareness and inspire other brands to make similar commitments to Circ’s fiber so we can build a circular fashion industry.”
The line of 35 sustainably designed Hoffman dresses will be sold in New York City, and each dress includes a digital care label with a QR code linking to information on the making of the garment and its waste footprint.
Fashion Industry Aspires for Circularity, Additional Action Still Needed
The fashion industry’s carbon impact derives from a variety of factors, from creating fabrics made of petrochemical derivatives to producing around 1.92 million tons of textile waste annually. The industry’s emissions are also expected to double by the end of the decade.
In response to this growing environmental damage, some fashion companies offer zero-carbon clothing lines or have made efforts to sustainably source cotton. Earlier this year, industry leaders partnered with Kinta Fibers to help scale their sustainably-produced polyester alternative for widespread use by the brands.
Yet, the continued presence of fast fashion, which is considered clothing design that moves quickly from idea to production that can lead to excessive production, and demand for affordable clothing dominate the market, keeping the industry from making significant emissions reductions and reducing its environmental impact at large. Some policy recommendations have been made to attempt to phase out fast fashion, but so far the practice remains widespread.
Circ recommends clothing brands make offtake agreements with innovative, sustainable companies such as their own in order to see significant progress towards a more circular fashion sector.
“We’ve said for years, ‘we have all the clothing we need to make all the clothing we’ll ever need,’ so this dress, and Mara Hoffman’s commitment to converting to Circ Lyocell from recycled textile waste, feels like a deeply significant milestone in the journey towards true circularity,” said Peter Majeranowski, CEO of Circ.