At H&M Group we believe in a circular future driven by style and design. We are reshaping our design process to create products that last longer, are easier to recycle and are made from safe, sustainably sourced, regenerated or recycled materials.
Designing for circularity
What is designing for circularity?
In a world with finite resources, we need to change the way we make everything, including fashion. For many years, we aimed to use the most sustainable materials to make the most desirable pieces. Now we need to broaden our focus and consider what happens to products beyond the drawing board.
We follow Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s vision for a circular fashion industry and aim to design products to be:
- Used more
- Made to be made again
- Made from safe, recycled or renewable inputs
Designing for circularity isn’t just adding another step to the design process. It’s a whole new approach.
Why is it important?
It’s time for a sense check. For years we’ve treated our clothes like disposable items – throwing them away when we’re bored of them. Out of sight, out of mind. But these garments are made from precious resources that we can’t afford to let go to waste.
Making better decisions at the design stage and thinking about a product’s entire lifespan can help reduce its impact on climate, water, nature and people.
We need to make full use of the energy and materials embedded in our clothes. The best way to do this is to use them for as long as possible then repair, resell and repurpose before eventually recycling them when they are no longer usable.
What are we doing at H&M Group?
A team of internal and external experts have been reimagining our approach to design. The result is Circulator – a guide and tool that supports our teams through the development process to maximise the circular potential of a product.
In 2021 we produced the first written version of the Circulator to share our ideas with other brands, designers and people interested in circular fashion. Since then we have been putting into practice, refining our approach and have now updated the guide.
Circular H&M Group collections
Our aim is to design all our products using Circulator. Find out how our design teams are putting the approach into practice in some recent collections in these videos.
Step into the metaverse with H&M’s winter party collection. Meet some of the design team and discover how they applied circular design to create clothes that are colourful, fun and perfect for a big night out.
Dream of long summer days with & Other Stories’ capsule collection. Discover how they combined their design DNA with circular principals and innovative materials to create a classic summer collection.
Find out more about the different materials fibres mentioned in the videos here.
Collaborate with us
We know that we can’t transition to a circular business model alone and we are always looking for collaborators. If you want to work with us on developing our approach to circular design, email email@example.com.
Tell us what you think
Try it out and tell us what you think. What works, what doesn’t, what’s missing, what you would do differently? Email your feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org.