Zero Waste Europe sets essential criteria for zero waste fashion business models


Zero Waste Europe (ZWE) has set four “essential criteria” for mapping zero waste fashion business models, urging decision-makers and the fashion industry to look beyond product circularity and eco-design.

ZWE’s four essential criteria are design for physical and emotional durability, demand-driven production to phase out “unsolds” and discounts, full supply chain transparency and traceability post-sale and extending the use-phase after first ownership.

The latest ZWE report, Beyond Circular Fashion – a new business model for the fashion industry, maps the state-of-play of today’s fast fashion business model, which it says is based on overconsumption, resource depletion, social exploitation, fossil-based fibres and greenwashing.

Published in the context of the EU Textiles Strategy, the report states that existing approaches and initiatives to making fashion fair and sustainable, while an important step forward, are “insufficient” in addressing harmful business models.

With this report, we are establishing guidance for businesses to become truly sustainable.

Waste Policy Officer at ZWE, Theresa Morsen, said: “With this report, we are establishing guidance for businesses to become truly sustainable, ending overproduction and consumption to respect planetary boundaries.

“This will help scaling up sustainable business models and ZWE intends to empower pioneers in this field.”

The Beyond Circular Fashion report follows the footsteps of ZWE’s New Energy for Europe manifesto (November 2022).

In the manifesto, ZWE urges the European Union to replace the current economic growth model with a new project based on wellbeing, sufficiency and resilience – with “special attention” paid to the need for resource use reduction and efficiency to respect planetary boundaries.

Send this to a friend