What is a circular economy?

Nowadays more and more consumers are keen to buy environmentally-conscious products. The industry is prepared to take action and consumer awareness is slowly but surely becoming a reality. Denim is still on a journey towards sustainability and the industry is ready with serious solution to make it a reality. Sustainable denim is no longer just an aspiration – it’s a realistic possibility.

The objective is to achieve a denim industry that is more circular, less wasteful and more environmentally-conscious.

But what does the circular economy really mean? And how can suppliers show clear measurable results?



A circular economy represents a closed loop economic system that designs waste and pollution out, keeping resources in use as long as possible.

This, aiming to extract the maximum value from them whilst in use, then recover and regenerate products and materials at the end of each lifecycle service.

In fact, it’s a regenerative system by design.

Circular economy

The Cradle to Cradle® concept categorizes two cycles for materials: the biological and the technical one. Waste materials in an old product become the “nourishment” for a new product.

  • In the biological cycle, materials are returned to the biosphere in the form of compost or other nutrients, from which new materials can be created.
  • In the technical cycle, materials that are not used up during use in the product can be reprocessed to allow them to be used in a new product.

Therefore, six pillars support circular economy:



Here designers will have an amplified role.

In addition to their key role in terms of design and innovation, they will play a critical role by envisioning products made with safe materials that can be perpetually cycled, and that eliminate the concept of «waste» being fully aware about “where products are coming from, how they are made, and which is their end of life”.

Circular Economy




Smart innovation is the latest generation of innovation, meaning an important balance/mix of creativity, innovation, responsibility implemented thanks to culture.



Culture is a key element for stimulating the experimentation of new circular business.

In the same way, heritage represent a resource that can enhance innovation, producing economic, social and environmental value.



Circular Economy

Cooperation is fundamental to C2C design concept.

Consequently, all players must collaborate to find the best solutions aiming to optimize the final product lifecycle at 360° degrees.


It’s fundamental to convey a new message of added brand values that highlights the three-dimensional DNA of a product/service.

This new approach to communication must be transparent and inform consumer of the whole process and overall benefits of the final product. We are creating new generation of values that speaks loud to contemporary consumer, but we need to provide the opportunity for this value connection.

Circular Economy


Circular Economy

Circular economy business model is opening up doors to completely different and multiple opportunities, previously unimaginable for linear economy. They can:

  • Offer new commercial opportunities
  • Contribute to business growth and sustainability
  • Generate new revenue
  • Transform a business’s relationship with its customers
  • Protect our economy against resource shortages and the rising cost of materials.
  • Create products with new generation of values and interactions that represent a real marketing competitive advantage.

> Go deeper into the Smart Creation with the certifications

> Discover the circular economy denim case study here

Discover the latest in eco-conscious denim next May, 28 & 19 at the Superstudio Più in Milan:

  • Denim PV shows you how to create a fashionable and sustainable denim collection with The Smart Creation Selection, an eco-conscious denim collection created in collaboration with the exhibitors
  • A series of Smart Talks dedicated to “Future and Contemporary Visions for Smart-Tech Denim”, covering everything you ever wanted to know about the circular economy.
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