ASOS launches second circular design collection and trial partnership with Thrift+
- New circular design collection includes over 40 products which meet ASOS’ circular design criteria and are all made from recycled, renewable, or innovative2 materials
- Trial partnership with clothing resale service, Thrift+, to extend the life of clothes, which will allow customers to sell pre-loved clothes to earn credit which they can spend on Thrift+, donate to charity, or redeem as ASOS vouchers4
- A further step towards ASOS’ 2030 Fashion with Integrity strategy and its key pillars, including the goal to Be More Circular
LONDON, 6th June 2022: ASOS, an online destination for fashion-loving 20-somethings, today launches its second circular design collection featuring over 40 pieces across clothing and accessories for the Spring/Summer season, alongside a trial partnership with resale service Thrift+.
Each of the styles in the circular design collection meets ASOS’ circular design criteria, which is based on the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s vision for a circular fashion economy.1 As part of this, all products in the collection are made from recycled, renewable, or innovative materials. 2
Additionally, all denim meets ASOS’ commitment to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s Jeans Redesign Project – a set of guidelines that provide an ambitious industry standard for circular denim3. Some of the products were designed using digital 3D technology which reduces the need to manufacture samples in the design process.
The collection builds on ASOS’ previous circular design collection in September 2020. While the 2020 collection involved a small number of teams that had progressed through ASOS’ circular design education programme, every Commercial team across ASOS was involved in the creation of the products in the collection launching today, reflecting the wider rollout of circular design education across ASOS’ teams.
It follows the publication in November 2021 of the ASOS Circular Design Handbook, a 112-page interactive resource created together with the Centre for Sustainable Fashion at London College of Fashion to help ASOS teams and external designers, students and fashion brands design and create fashion products that support the circular economy.
In the collection, ASOS’ customers can expect pieces for Summer, including cut-out detail dresses, oversized, colour-blocked shirts, and boyfriend jeans, accessorised with retro sunglasses. The graphics and prints are brave and optimistic, mixing retro floral with wavy checkerboard prints, all in this season’s key colours – burnt orange, lilac, and apple green teamed with undyed neutrals and indigo denims.
Vanessa Spence, Commercial Design and Visual Director at ASOS, said: “To have a successful commercial future, the fashion industry needs to be both sustainable and circular.
Over the past few years, we’ve been working with our partners and experts to discover how we can be more circular - one of our new 2030 Fashion with Integrity goals. The launch of our second circular design collection, which uses innovative new materials and takes our circular design criteria one step further, is a great moment for us as we continue to develop our expertise in this area.
“Of course, design is just one piece of the circular puzzle – and to be truly circular, products must pass through circular systems as well as meet our circular design criteria. While resale is just one such system, we’re proud to be launching a new trial in collaboration with Thrift+ today, to extend the life of products by enabling them to easily and conveniently be resold.”
As part of the Thrift+ trial, customers can ensure clothes they no longer wear can get a second lease of life through resale while receiving credit that they can either donate to charity, use to purchase second-hand fashion on Thrift+ or redeem as ASOS vouchers. It’s simple to use and customers can:
- Request a free ASOS x Thrift+ bag via a link on ASOS’ website
- Send unwanted clothes back to Thrift+ to sell on its platform
- Once sold, receive credits which can either be spent on other preloved clothing, donated to a chosen charity, including the ASOS Foundation, or redeemed as ASOS vouchers4
30,000 bags will be available for customers as part of the first phase of the trial.
Joe Metcalfe, Thrift+ Founder, said: “We are delighted to support ASOS’ progress towards circularity with the launch of this trial. Making it easy for people to responsibly get unwanted clothing back into circulation is key to making fashion more circular; and it’s hugely exciting that ASOS customers will now have the Thrift+ service at their fingertips. We’re looking forward to measuring the impact of the trial, such as the number of items re-sold and the amount raised for charity; as well as feeding data on the success of item resale back into future circular product design.”
Notes to editors
1The overarching goals of circular design at ASOS are to keep a product in use for as long as possible, and then once it’s no longer usable, to ensure its materials can be reused and made into new products. This means that products are designed in a way that will enable them to be worn and loved for many years; and/or enable their materials to be recycled, remanufactured, or otherwise kept in the fashion economy.
Under its approach to circular design, a circular product for ASOS must be made from safe and recycled or renewable materials, plus it must be designed to meet either the ‘Used More’ or ‘Made to be Made Again’ points, through appropriate circular design strategies.
This is because these points can conflict with each other – a super-durable product designed for durability or performance (i.e. activewear) might not be able to be recycled; or a product designed for recyclability that can be easily disassembled ready for recycling (i.e. a staple t-shirt) might not be very durable. Meeting both durability and recyclability at the same time would be the gold standard in our eyes, but sometimes because of these trade-offs, we ask our designers to consider how the product will be used by the wearer and use this to determine which principle makes the most sense for that specific product. We call this holistic design: thinking about the full life cycle and intended use of a product during its design, to make sure we’re making the right circular design decisions.
Within this design framework, designers are empowered to be flexible and use their own expertise to apply the strategies that best suit their products.
More detail can be found in the ASOS Circular Design Guidebook (pages 14, 17 and 18 of the flat version).
Read ASOS’ Circular Design Guidebook:
2Our innovative materials include:
- Texloop™ RCOT™ – 50% pre-consumer recycled cotton & 50% organic cotton mix. Texloop™ processes high-value cotton textile waste into RCOT™ recycled cotton, creating new fabric and preserving the fibre quality for the next generation of recycled materials
- TENCEL™ Lenzing Refibra™ – the REFIBRA™ technology upcycles cotton scraps into a cotton pulp, and mixes this with wood pulp from sustainably managed forests to create a virgin-quality Lycocell fibre
3ASOS has signed a three-year commitment to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s program ‘Jeans Redesign’ Project, as well as being a member of their Network.
The Jeans Redesign Guidelines are a set of requirements co-developed with input from more than 80 denim experts outlining the minimum requirements to design jeans in line with the principles of the circular economy. All the denim in ASOS’ circular design collection meets the following requirements:
- Made from 100% pre-consumer recycled materials
- Designed for durability – able to withstand a minimum of 30 home laundries
- Garments feature instructions on how to care for them including: reducing washing frequency, wash at low temperatures, avoid tumble drying
- 100% cotton – ensuring that jeans can be effectively recycled
- Removable buttons – ensuring that jeans can be effectively disassembled
- Safe chemistry - ensuring jeans’ production is safe for the long-term health of people and ecosystems
- Low water usage in the wash process
You can read more about the ASOS Design Circular Collection by visiting https://www.asos.com/discover/circular-design/.
4ASOS voucher functionality will be enabled in time for any customers using Thrift+ to receive their vouchers.
ASOS is a destination for fashion-loving 20-somethings around the world, with a purpose to give its customers the confidence to be whoever they want to be. Through its app and mobile/desktop web experience, available in ten languages and in over 200 markets, ASOS customers can shop a curated edit of over 100,000 products, sourced from nearly 900 global and local partner brands alongside a mix of fashion-led own-brand labels - ASOS Design, ASOS Edition, ASOS 4505, ASOS Luxe, As You, Collusion, Reclaimed Vintage, Weekend Collective, Topshop, Topman, Miss Selfridge, HIIT, Dark Future, Unrvlld Spply, Crooked Tongues, Day Social and Actual. ASOS aims to give its 26.7 million customers a truly frictionless experience, with an ever-greater number of different payment methods and hundreds of local delivery and return options, including Next-Day Delivery and Same-Day Delivery, dispatched from state-of-the-art fulfilment centres in the UK, US and Germany.
About Fashion with Integrity
Fashion with Integrity was launched in 2010 and guides our approach to business at ASOS. It’s about having a positive impact on people and minimising our impact on the planet. In September 2021, we announced the next phase of our programme with four big 2030 goals: Be Net Zero, Be More Circular, Be Transparent and Be Diverse. For more detail, head to: www.asosplc.com/fashion-with-integrity/
Find out more about ASOS Be Circular 2030 Fashion with Integrity goal: https://www.asosplc.com/fashion-with-integrity/planet/
Thrift+ is on a mission to prevent fashion waste. As a leading second-hand retailer, with a website and app, they make it easier for people to re-sell than to discard. Thrift+ processes over 30,000 items of unwanted clothing at its solar-powered warehouse every month and has up to 400,000 quality-assured second-hand items available on their website at any given time. All sellers need to do is order a ThriftBag, fill it up, and return it, for free. Then, the team of expert Thrifters will sift through and photograph clothing before each item is priced and listed. It’s that simple. Sellers earn credits which they can choose to spend, redeem, or donate to charity.
So far, the Thrift+ community have donated £1.6million to over 4,000 U.K. charities, ranging from Cancer Research UK, WWF and Refuge, to name a few.
About Centre for Sustainable Fashion
Centre for Sustainable Fashion (CSF) is a University of the Arts London research, education and knowledge exchange centre. Based at London College of Fashion, the centre provokes, challenges and questions the status quo in fashion to contribute to a system that recognises its ecological context and honours equity. CSF shapes and contributes to Fashion Design for Sustainability as a field of study, industry practices and educational models. By exploring and cross-referencing fashion’s relational ecological, social, economic and cultural agendas, the centre engages in transformational design practices. CSF takes a pluralistic, systemic approach, collaborating across its network of universities, businesses and other organisations from all around the world.
About the Ellen MacArthur Foundation
The Ellen MacArthur Foundation is an international charity, committed to the creation of a circular economy that tackles some of the biggest challenges of our time, such as climate change and biodiversity loss. Driven by design, a circular economy eliminates waste and pollution, keeps products and materials in use, and regenerates natural systems, creating benefits for society, the environment, and the economy.