Circular fashion: the new roles of designers in organisations transitioning to a circular economy

Thomas Østergaard, M. Christina Dan

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


To tackle global sustainability challenges of the Fashion Industry and ensure long-term viability, companies have slowly started integrating circular approaches. This paper explores if and how fashion designers can aid the transition towards a circular economy. For this purpose, 15 interviews with ten fashion designers working in medium and large international fashion companies and five key expert informants were conducted. The results are summarized in the ORFDCE model (Organizational Roles of Fashion Designers for Circular Economy) and suggests 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 organizational changes. The model enables companies to identify their specific standing in the transition process and develop designer training and support measures aimed at realizing their designers’ full potential. The article also issues several recommendations for further research, to enable the transition from linear to circular fashion.
Translated title of the contributionCirkulær mode: designerens nye roller i organisationer, der overgår til en cirkulær økonomi
Original languageEnglish
JournalThe Design Journal
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2021


  • aesthetics, design and media

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