asos launches sustainable fashion training programme for its designers

The business is looking at ways to make their clothes last us forever.

by Annie Lord
29 June 2018, 11:05am

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Ever panicked about what to wear on a night out? Spontaneously bought something wild with next day delivery, like a sparkly leopard print unitard -- only to wear it once then leave it crumpled at the bottom of your wardrobe? Constantly told yourself you will sell it on Depop but never actually buying any postage stamps? We all know that this wear-it-once consumerism is bad, but also sometimes, it's just impossible to not take part in it. Even if you do buy something and wear it until it's threadbare, how sustainable has the garment's design process been?

ASOS is hoping to change this environmentally destructive form of fast fashion by launching a training programme to educate its designers on sustainability.

The pilot course, running in partnership with the London College of Fashion’s Centre for Sustainable Fashion, is part of the 2020 Circular Fashion Commitments that ASOS pledged to achieve at the Copenhagen Fashion Summit last year.

The trial launch will see 15 members of ASOS’s core design team carry out a series of discussions, drop-in sessions and workshops in order to discover concepts, case studies, and practical applications of circular design, analysing techniques which consider the whole life cycle of a garment.

“With this pilot we’re making sure our designers have the knowledge and skills they need to put sustainability and circularity into practice,” Vanessa Spence, design director at ASOS, commented today. “It’s a vital step on our journey to designing products with circularity in mind right from the start, which will ensure that they are made responsibly, remain in use for as long as possible once they’re sold, and don’t cause unnecessary waste at the end of their lives.”

“We need to paint a vision of what a circular economy can look like,” Ellen MacArthur, who launched the Ellen MacArthur Foundation to encourage a generation to build a future circular economy, added: “In a time of creativity and innovation, why would we ever turn anything into waste?”

This announcement comes only a week after the company pledged to ban cashmere, down, silk and feathers across its website by the end of January 2019. By educating the creators of its garments, Asos is shifting towards more environmentally friendly, socially conscious business practices.

Copenhagen Fashion Summit
2020 circular fashion commitments