Following their commitment at the Copenhagen Fashion Summit in 2018 to train all ASOS designers on circular design by 2020, ASOS partnered with Centre for Sustainable Fashion (CSF) to develop a bespoke educational programme.
This initial partnership has proved pivotal to both CSF and ASOS, acting on shared ambitions to create viable approaches to design for sustainability applied to industry contexts. The collaboration has seen the successful roll-out of the programme to all designers at ASOS, and the subsequent launch of a 29-piece collection designed with circular principles and aligned to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s vision for a circular economy for fashion.
As well as the educational programme, CSF is co-authoring a circular guidebook for product teams (including designers, garment techs, buyers, merchandisers among others); and a newly-developed series of workshops updating the original programme with learnings from the collection.
ASOS Circularity Partnership
A multi-faceted, ongoing partnership with ASOS to educate product teams on circular design practice.
The educational programme
A bespoke curriculum developed in close partnership with ASOS sustainability and design teams, building knowledge and testing circular design principles with a pilot group of designers, aiming to upskill creative teams and innovate new approaches to circular fashion.
The educational programme is now being revised for 2021 in line with the insights, learnings and new knowledge created by the collection and guidebook.
The circular collection
A first-of-its-kind capsule collection that put learnings and circular principles from the educational programme into practice in ASOS’ handwriting: fashion-forward, accessible and led by the season’s biggest trends. Designed to align with the circular economy, the collection challenges the misconception that circular and sustainable clothing can’t be fashionable.
The circular design guidebook
The ultimate guide to all things circular for ASOS, co-developed by CSF and ASOS alongside the creation of the collection. The guidebook expands on the educational programme with in-depth, practical guidance and hands-on toolkits that enable the learnings, challenges and opportunities from the circular collection to be implemented across all product teams at ASOS.
“For over two years we’ve worked closely with ASOS, forging trusted relationships through open and honest discussion and commitment to expand a recognition of value in creative, environmental, social, cultural and economic terms. CSF’s programme of research and education co-developed with the ASOS sustainability team, has encouraged cultures and practices of sustainability that can contribute to vital transformation.”
– Professor Dilys Williams, Director of the Centre for Sustainable Fashion at London College of Fashion, UAL
“Throughout our collaborative partnership with the Centre for Sustainable Fashion, we’ve benefited from CSF’s understanding of the circular economy and the invaluable insights and contribution that they have been able to provide into the development of our ASOS circular design strategies. Together, we have co-developed a unique circular design programme and accompanying circular design guide book which has provided the tools and knowledge to empower our teams to turn circular theory into circular product.”
– Annabel Nellist, Head of Responsible Materials, ASOS
“Working with the CSF has been instrumental to developing our understanding of circular design within ASOS. Together, we’ve inspired and engaged our teams to develop circular design strategies that are authentic to the business and what it stands for. By taking circular economy theory and applying it within our own supply chain, we’ve gained vital knowledge into how we can accelerate our transition towards a more circular business model.”
– Rebecca Garner, Circular Fashion, ASOS
Sarah Needham, Knowledge Exchange Manager
Monica Buchan-Ng, Knowledge Exchange Project Coordinator
Aniela Fidler-Wieruszewska, Knowledge Exchange Administrator