ASOS, the popular online fashion retailer, is taking significant steps towards a more sustainable and circular fashion industry. In their latest move, the company has launched its second circular design collection, which consists of 47 items that align with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s vision for a circular fashion economy. These products are crafted from recycled, renewable, or innovative materials, and the denim pieces adhere to the Foundation’s Jeans Redesign Project guidelines.

Vanessa Spence, ASOS’s Commercial Design and Visual Director, stressed the importance of sustainability and circularity in the fashion industry for future commercial success. To further promote circularity, ASOS has partnered with the resale service Thrift+. Through this collaboration, customers can sell their pre-loved clothing to Thrift+ and earn credits. To participate, customers can simply request a free ASOS x Thrift+ bag from the ASOS website. Once the clothes are sold, customers can use the credits to purchase other resale clothing, donate to a chosen charity (including the ASOS Foundation), or redeem them as ASOS vouchers. The initial phase of the trial will provide 30,000 bags to customers.

While this is ASOS’s second circular design collection (with the first one introduced in September 2020), it holds significant importance as it represents a deeper commitment to circular design. Unlike the previous collection, which involved a small number of teams, this time every commercial team across ASOS participated in creating the products. This highlights the broader integration of circular design education throughout the company.

ASOS’s dedication to circularity and sustainability is evident not only in their collections but also in the initiatives they have undertaken. They collaborated with the Centre for Sustainable Fashion at London College of Fashion last year to produce a 112-page interactive Circular Design Handbook. This comprehensive guide aims to assist ASOS teams, external designers, students, and fashion brands in designing and creating fashion products that support the circular economy.

Moreover, ASOS has embraced digital 3D technology in the design process for certain products. This innovative approach allows for a reduction in the need for physical samples, thereby minimizing waste.

In terms of style, the circular design collection showcases trend-led fashion pieces such as cutout detail dresses, oversized color-blocked shirts, boyfriend jeans, printed headscarves, and retro sunglasses. The graphics and prints are described as bold and optimistic, combining vintage floral patterns with wavy checkerboard designs. The color palette includes burnt orange, lilac, apple green, undyed neutrals, and indigo denims.

ASOS’s launch of the Thrift+ resale pilot and their commitment to circular design exemplify their dedication to cultivating a more sustainable and circular fashion industry. By encouraging customers to sell their pre-loved clothes and providing opportunities to purchase second-hand clothing, ASOS is actively contributing to the reduction of fashion waste and promoting a more eco-conscious approach to fashion consumption.

Useful links:
1. ASOS Website
2. Ellen MacArthur Foundation