Circularity at ARMEDANGELS – From eco & fair to circular

For almost 15 years ARMEDANGELS has been proving that fashion can be different: no wage slavery, no harsh chemical usage and no mass production. Instead, sustainable and fairly produced garments. But while the German fashion company tried to make a difference in the past decade, the fashion industry doubled in size in the last 15 years. This goes hand in hand with a decrease of 36% of the average number of worn before it ceased to be used with about 73% ending up in landfills, being incinerated. Only 1% of the 53 million tonnes of annual fiber production for clothing comes from closed loop recycling. *

For ARMEDANGELS it is clear: eco & fair is not enough, more needs to be done! The simple but radical solution: circularity. A system in which everything has value and waste no longer exists.

Circularity – Lets reinvent the wheel

ARMEDANGELS has declared its mission to make their supply chain as circular as possible and to eliminate waste during the manufacturing process. The goal is to inspire other likeminded fashion brands and to make them aware that the circularity mindset can be profitable to both their companies and to nature. To truly talk about waste, the whole industry needs to accept that it’s not enough to just call it the new ‘good thing’. It’s not just about recycling. It is about creating an industry that makes a positive environmental and social impact. It’s about creating systems in which water, energy and chemicals are regenerated. Where the materials we use and goods we sell, are used and repurposed time and time again, making their life cycle as long as possible. A continuous loop so to speak.

For ARMEDANGELS its circularity efforts are based on three core principles:
– eliminate waste and pollution
– keep products and materials in use
– regenerate the natural system
They understood that circular design is not in relation to any single product, but it is rather a school of thought. Understanding and implementing the four pillars of circularity – repair, resell, recycle, rebirth – creates a fundamental basis for a more sustainable approach.

With the launch of the Closed Loop Pilot and circularity.ID the Fair-Fashion Label has created a completely new circular system. Through an ID-chip sewn into the garment, the pieces can later be quickly and accurately put into the right cycle. By scanning the ID, the garment-sorters can accurately identify the material composition, value and condition and sort it into the according bin to be re-spun.

Trash is the resource

This is only one of many ways to reclaiming used fibers. Other solutions include re-using, renting, or creating a take-back system like the one ARMEDANGELS has implemented with the Closed Loop Pilot. For a fabric to be considered circular, the material needs to contain a high content of reclaimed or recycled fiber, be it pre- or post-consumer waste. The ID T-Shirt however is not the first circular product ARMEDANGELS has designed. Their first venture was the Circular Tee with a high content of recycled post-consumer fibers. After the first milestone with the Circular Tee, ARMEDANGELS has expanded their line with the Circular Denim. The Jeans contain 20% recycled organic cotton, made of the cutting waste from the company’s own production at Recovertex, thus achieving zero-waste production.

There are many different approaches when it comes to Circular Fashion. ARMEDANGELS is continuously searching and testing new ways to implement its circular mindset. In cooperation with partners the brand is further pioneering work towards a truly circular business. Closing the loop, one circle at a time.


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