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The innovators: Cirqle

Posted in Style
by Make it last on 21 October, 2014

Hopefully the rest will follow

Cirqle is an app that makes it easy for individuals to get rid of clothes in a more sustainable way and be rewarded for it. Make it last talks to Cirqle’s Caj Westlund.

– Only in Sweden, around 200 tons of clothes and textiles are thrown to waste, every day. 95 percent of the thrown-away garments and textiles could be re-used or recycled. Through Cirqle, we guide individuals to help organizations and clothing stores that receive used clothes. Once the user has donated clothes to a connected organization or store, he or she gets to choose a reward through the app, e.g. a digital discount, from a connected fashion brand. The reward is then stored in the user profile in the app and can be used in fashion brand’s retail stores or webshop.

You already work with Lindex and Myrorna. What other partners can we expect to see in the near future?
– The goal is to make it possible to donate clothes in as many locations as possible, and receive a reward from appealing brands, so that everyone can feel compelled to donate clothes. We are basically looking for collaborations with as many help organizations and fashion brands as possible. We can’t give you any names at the moment, but in the near future, you can expect both niched brands and brands for a broader target group, as well as more organizations and retail stores that collect used clothes.

How eager are people to recycle clothes? What’s the key to changing these habits?
– We’ve learnt that there’s been a reluctance to donating clothes, in many cases due to people not knowing where the garments and the generated income ends up, and because many people don’t understand how this throwaway culture affects the environment. But in the last years, there’s been an apparent increase in recycling of clothes. We can for example see successful concepts like Modereturen in Farsta Centrum growing exceptional. However, we think that the last spark is yet to come, and that more people will use this type of circular services. But to achieve this, we believe that we need to create a greater value on unwanted clothes, and inspire people to donate these valuable resources instead of throwing them in the trash. The key is to bring the consumer together with responsible and transparent organizations and fashion brands, and getting people to understand the vastness of the problem and their own power to solve it.

What’s your eco fashion prediction for 2015?
– We believe that serious fashion brands will strive to create more sustainable product lines, but also experiment and research ways to develop new materials, with help of new technology. For example G-STAR RAW for the ocean. They created a denim product line made from recycled ocean plastic. It’s a very interesting project that we think other companies will get inspired by and try to make something even cooler. Some companies will lead the way and hopefully the rest will follow.

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