Fashion’s circular economy to worth $5 trillion


A new report outlines and values the potential of the circular fashion industry to inspire more investment and build scale in a growing area of sustainability.

The possible value of fashion’s circular economy could be as much as $5 trillion, according to Circular Fashion Report.


The circular fashion industry concept is a fast-growing movement to reuse and recycle all materials, eliminating waste and pollution and regenerating the environment in a “circular model”.

This rethink of the fundamentals of how the industry operates is gaining purchase among sustainable fashion brands.

The fashion industry is facing a substantial burden to reduce carbon emissions and waste, not least from a new generation of consumers who call more environmental accountability. This has given added impetus to the argument for circularity.

Sustainability experts told the industry has only just started to discover its potential for product reuse and recycle. A vast amount of product ends in landfill but is easily resalable.

Improved recycling technologies are potentially transformative. The Circular Fashion Report argues for a product-centric, rather than a consumer-centric approach, and digitizing it. The goal: to make fashion traceable, transparent and more sustainable for businesses, consumers — and the planet.

The market value is made up of the existing $3 trillion global fashion industry, including the $6 billion virtual fitting room market, $16 billion 3D-printing market and $40 billion eco-fiber market, as well as the secondhand sector, including resale and clothing alterations.