The fashion industry‘s linear system of take-make-use dispose creates large negative socio-environmental impacts and economic value losses. In order to tackle global sustainability challenges and ensure long-term viability, this industry is facing a need for circular and closed-loop approaches. This paper explores if and how fashion designers can aid the transition towards a circular economy (CE) in the fashion industry. For this purpose, 15 interviews with ten fashion designers working in medium and large international fashion companies and five key informants (circular economy and circular fashion expert, design researcher, product developer, product manager and sustainability manager) were conducted. The results are summarized in the ORFDCE model (Organisational Roles of Fashion Designers for Circular Economy) and suggest that designers can take up three central roles in the transition process, if they expand their sustainability-related knowledge and are supported by four central systemic organisational changes. The developed model enables medium and large sized fashion companies on their way to circularity to identify their specific standing in the transition process and develop designer training and support measures aimed at realizing their designers‘ full potential.
- Æstetik, design og medier