Imagine a world where the materials we use are renewable, recyclable and free from toxic chemicals, to be used over and over again. Where our clothes are designed for multiple use and there are services at our fingertips to repair, remake, and if necessary, recycle. And where people - everyone involved in the making of our clothes - are valued, supported and respected. Radical, huh?
Well hopefully not because this is the vision imagined for 2050 by the organisers of World Circular Textiles Day, a group of academics, textile technologists and systems changers who have made October 8 an annual day to focus our collective attention – as individuals and brands – on the possibility of a world where we no longer rely on virgin materials but where, if at all possible, we reuse, recycle, remake and reinvent.
While we at Ninety Percent know there is so much more we can do, we design every piece of clothing we make with longevity in mind. A circular approach to fashion means clothes that will stand the test of time, wash beautifully and keep their shape, stay relevant and, with the right care, look as good after 30 wears as they do today.
A circular approach means the best quality materials. At Ninety Percent we invest in the highest quality natural materials that we know will wash well, wear well, and last the longest possible time and ultimately, our plant-based materials will decompose naturally at the end of their life. We work with TENCEL™ because we know their raw materials are responsibly sourced and their manufacturing processes are closed loop, meaning nothing is wasted. TENCEL™ fibres come from renewable sources of wood and are certified as compostable and biodegradable so will go back to the earth at the end of their very long life.
Circularity means attention to the materials we use, to the way we make our clothes. It means care. If necessary, it means repair. We hope that every piece of clothing you buy from us will be worn over and over again. And when it’s no longer worn by you, it will be in good enough condition to be passed on or sold to someone else.
Achieving a circular fashion industry is something we must all work towards. We salute the amazing initiatives and services out there designed to ensure our clothes have the longest possible life. Here are some of our favourites:
Check out the eclectic mix of brands on Loop Generation, an e-store packed with pre-loved clothes and accessories we think you'll love. Don’t miss the Ninety Percent Archive, our partnership set up to sell sample pieces and treasures from past seasons.
Download this smart app which will ensure you can access local seamstresses to repair, alter or adjust the fit of your clothes so they look as good as possible.
This luxury repairs service will restore your designer handbag so it’s like new. They are also a whizz at shoe repairs, heel fixes and making scuffed edges look perfect again. You’ll find their before and after videos on their Instagram feed mesmerising.
Peckham Car Boot
This car boot sale is every other week and we defy you to leave empty handed. You will find all sorts of vintage, second hand, and as-new items to bring sparkle to your wardrobe. Look out for great winter coats, knitwear, and dresses for the upcoming party season. If you’re not in London, check out your local car boot to buy or sell. This is the circular economy at its most joyous.
At the more luxury end of the market, fashion editor Clare Richardson has launched Reluxe, a resale site specialising in the coolest of brands from some of the fashion world’s tastemakers. It’s still in the launch phase so register now to be the first in line!
Aja Barber’s new book examines the need for collective change - colonialism, climate change and consumerism. A must read for anyone interested in changing the way they think about their clothes.
This is a genius idea – tights designed to biodegrade in three years (when given the right conditions!).
To sign up and support World Circular Textiles day click here.