Hand stitching a button onto a blue piece of clothing

Circular business models for fashion and textiles

One of three priority action areas in the Textiles 2030 Circularity Roadmap, circular business models such as repair, resale, rental and upcycling are designed to keep products in circulation for longer.

They will play a key role in the transition to a circular textiles economy, allowing businesses to generate revenue from service provision and reuse, rather than from the sale of new products.

A case for change.

While the production of new textile items continues to increase, the underutilisaton of clothing has been observed for over a decade. In fact, in the UK, WRAP’s consumer research found that just over a quarter of the items (26%) in an average person’s wardrobe have not been worn in the past year.  

Meanwhile, the appetite for circular business models has been steadily growing, with three in five UK consumers saying they are likely to use a repair service and 73% of those who have purchased preloved items saying they would do it again. Those who are most receptive to these models tend to be the very ones we need to target - consumers who buy more, spend more, and shop more frequently. 

Our findings point to a significant opportunity for businesses to capitalise on the underutilisation of clothing and begin diversifying their offering. They also reveal a promising mainstream market for circular business models, with further research from the Ellen McArthur Foundation suggesting reuse models could grow to occupy 23% of the global fashion market by 2030, valued at USD 700 billion.  

By adopting circular business models, brands can not only reduce the number of items they produce while remaining profitable and serving the needs of a growing consumer population, they can also, depending on if the models have been applied correctly, achieve significant reductions in their carbon and water footprints by decoupling business growth from the use of virgin resources.

Guidance and resources for businesses.

Access free resources to help you inspire your senior leadership team to implement new  business models and reimagine the way your business generates revenue. 

  • Circular Business Models Guide for Fashion

    Circular business models guide

    Your step-by-step guide for launching a successful circular business model.

  • Citizen Insights: Clothing Longevity and Circular Business Models Receptivity in the UK

    Circular business model receptivity in the UK

    Insights on consumer experience and receptivity to circular business models.

  • Retailer clothing take-back guide

    Retailer clothing take-back guide

    Use this guidance to set-up or improve a clothing take-back scheme.

  • Changing our clothes: Why the clothing sector should adopt new business models

    Changing our clothes report

    Research to inform the adoption of new business models in the UK, USA and India.

The brands embracing new business models.

Explore case studies from leading businesses who are trialing and integrating innovative business models into their offering.

  • IKEA pilots take-back scheme

    In this pilot, IKEA customers were able to bring any unwanted textiles to its Cardiff store to be reused, repaired or recycled.

  • Rentez-Vous offers designer clothing rental

    Rentez-Vous is making luxury fashion more attainable through its peer-to-peer and business-to-consumer fashion rental service.

  • Alexandra Wood Bespoke Tailoring fills gap in market

    After identifying a gap in the market, Alexandra Wood Bespoke Tailoring expanded its offering to include suit rental and maintenance.

Need help turning ambition into action?

Become a member of Textiles 2030 and get peer-to-peer and expert support as you build, implement, and refine your circular business models.

Become a member