Cradle to cradle is the concept proposed in 2002 by German chemist-ecologist Michael Braungart and American landscape architect William McDonough. The fundamental premise developed by both authors is the change of approach of the main slogan of environmentalism, the well-known rule of the three Rs: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. The authors consider that reducing the impact on the environment of production processes causes it to slow down, but does not eliminate it.
Therefore, they propose to go to the root of the problems: from the design and conception of any good or action, all the phases of production involved must be taken into account, from the extraction of raw materials to their recycling. It is the origin of what we now know as a circular economy, which we would start with the so-called eco-design.
In the fashion industry there are many elements to take into account when applying this circular economic model: so that a garment at the end of its life cycle can be reused or recycled in its entirety, it is necessary that already in the own Conception and design of the product take into account the final. A challenge for current linear operation of this industry It has been said on many occasions that the second-hand market is a patch and not a solution to the challenge of sustainability in fashion. It is certainly not the solution, but no matter how much you work on a transition to a 100% circular fashion, the secondhand will still be necessary. Indispensable. The only reason: consumerism.
The rise of low cost and the consolidation of fast fashion as a fashion model have caused an exaggerated consumption and far from our real needs. It is indisputable: we buy clothes above our possibilities and, above all, and much more serious and dangerous, those of the Planet. Therefore, however much fashion walks slowly but Hopefully inexorably towards circularity, the secondhand will be necessary as long as consumption levels remain excessive.
The most sustainable garment is the one already manufactured, so it will always be better to go to reuse rather than recycling, rather than to produce again, even with eco materials. It is a matter of resource use, common sense.
Circular fashion cannot do without reuse, since consumption will never be 100% efficient. It seems clear, therefore, that the future of fashion can only be circular and secondhand.