Rental and community platform Circle wins Circular Fashion Games 2019

Winner of the Circular Fashion Games 2019 is rental and community platform Circle, a concept created for the most sustainable and innovative outdoor supplier of Germany: VAUDE. The winners were announced by an expert jury Sunday evening, after an exciting finale at Fashion for Good. This is the international hub for sustainable fashion and innovation. The winning team behind Circle are four ambitious changemakers, Agnese Metitieri (IT), Elena Simi (UK), Thais Bloss de Lima (UK) and Thalia Hesselink (NL).

With Circle the team presented a vision to become the go-to platform for anyone who wants to book an adventure holiday. The platform allows VAUDE to tap into a potential new audience: the large group of people who do not book an outdoor holiday every year. For them, purchasing the right equipment may be a barrier to continue their adventure. On the Circle platform, this group can put together and rent outdoor and camping packages stress-free in just a few clicks. Circle is also the perfect companion for VAUDE customers who want to buy their equipment. They will get access to tutorials on how to best maintain the products, to ensure they last as long as possible, and exchange and repair points will be shared. The final pillar of the Circle platform is the community that brings hiking and mountain climbing fanatics together, both online and offline.

The team presented with this concept a solution beyond VAUDE’s challenge, which was to ‘just’ think about a concept on how to best rent out or lease VAUDE’s outdoor and camping equipment.

Chair of the jury, Monique Maissan, Founder and CEO Waste2Wear:

“The commitment, energy and enthusiasm I have seen among all participants, is exactly what we need to make the fashion industry more circular and to realize this transition. In that respect, everyone’s a winner. Circle has won this games, because it’s a well-thought-out concept. In addition to the rental system, the platform offers more services that nicely link together. It is a total concept, which was also very well presented .”

The team wins 1000 euros and coaching. In the comings months, the feasibility of the concept will be further explored.

Besides Circle, the other challenges and solutions were also presented at the finale:

Schiphol

Two teams worked on a circular solution to replace corporate wear while taking into account regulations concerning logos and names that should be visible on the clothing. Solutions were found in wearable tech, where a display shows the name and logo on the workwear, and soluble yarn, making it easy to remove the name and logo from the clothing.

Lenzing

The team worked on a solution to increase supply chain transparency and how this could add value for the consumer. The team decided to make this broad challenge more specific and focused on hazardous chemicals in clothing. Their Conscious Chemicals concept aims to increase awareness of hazardous chemicals in clothing among consumers. With an incentive, such as a coin, the concept encourages consumers to make more conscious purchases.

City of Amsterdam and textile collector Sympany

The team introduced the business-to-business platform Co-Co (Collect & Connect Amsterdam), a joint venture between Amsterdam and Sympany. At this platform, local businesses can get access to products such as recycled yarns and fabrics that textile collector Sympany offers. With Co-Co the team presented a possible solution to the challenge: ‘How to use the stream of post-consumer textiles, which is available within the metropolitan region of Amsterdam, as material for local and circular entrepreneurship’.

All the solutions have been generated within the Circular Fashion Games. The games started 25-27 January with an intensive bootcamp in Eindhoven and continued 6-10 February with a bootcamp in Amsterdam. During these bootcamps, the changemakers were mentored and received masterclasses from experts in the fields of circular design thinking and circular business modelling.

The Circular Fashion Games: a strong network

A group of 30 changemakers from 11 countries participated in the Circular Fashion Games 2019. The group is a unique mix of students from top international schools in fashion, business and technology and experienced (fashion) professionals. They were selected based on their motivation to contribute to a more circular fashion industry and their background. By working on real challenges of organisations, the Circular Fashion Games offered them a platform to further engage with their ambitions in the field of circular fashion and textiles – and will continue to do so in the future.

Naturally, the focus of the Circular Fashion Games is on content and expertise. However, the organisation behind the games – Start Up Mix – greatly values group dynamics. They ensure that during the bootcamps strong relationships are built. This is crucial for keeping in touch and supporting each other in the transition phase of the current fashion industry into one that is more sustainable and circular. The group that participated last year (the first edition of the games) proves this approach is bearing fruit. This makes the Circular Fashion Games more and more a catalyst for change in the field of circular fashion and textiles.

“We work on transformation of the fashion industry with changemakers all over the world. The Circular Fashion Games brings (young) professionals together in an open and challenging context. Innovative ideas arise and new connections are being made. ‘Out of the box’ thinking results into new solutions, tackling existing challenge of companies”,

says Douwe Jan Joustra, jury member of the Circular Fashion Games and Head Circular Transformation at C&A Foundation.

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