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Circular-Design Agency Launches Fashion Pilot to Test Digital Clothing IDs

What does the life cycle of a garment look like? Circular.Fashion, a “sustainable change agency” from Berlin, is eager to find out. 

One of five winners of the H&M Foundation’s 2019 Global Change Award, Circular.Fashion is embarking on a pilot study to test the viability of a proprietary digital platform it dubs the “Loop Scoop.”

Intended as a “one-stop solution” for designers creating garments for the circular economy, the system includes a sustainable materials library, a raft of best-practices guidelines and a “product check” that confirms if a garment is optimized for recyclability at the end of its life. 

All approved products, Circular.Fashion notes, will be tagged with a unique digital identity, known as a Circularity.ID, meant to conduct a “transparent flow of information” across the value chain.

But first, Ina Budde and Mario Malzacher, founders of Circular.Fashion, have to release some garments into the wild—more specifically, 100 “circular T-shirts,” which they are currently offering through Indiegogo for $40 a piece.

“We want to learn from you how a circular product is used, reused and disposed of,” Budde and Malzacher wrote on their campaign page. “The Circularity.ID opens up this dialogue and holds the full story of the garment from insights on material and production, to instructions on how to prolong the use of the piece, to finally ensure recycling.”

Circularity.ID coordinates a “network of reverse supply-chain intelligence” by opening up an interface that doubles as a kind of digital passport when scanned. “A sorting software enables efficient product identification and ensures that each piece is delivered to its predefined fiber-to-fiber recycler,” they added.

The shirts have been crafted from a single “mono-material for the bio-cycle,” presumably cotton. Available in white, each one comes with a dye sachet to allow color updates and prolong use. 

The Circular.Fashion system itself is poised to launch in spring 2020, although the agency says it is interested in collaborating with select brands to hone the platform before then.