PPAI Magazine May 2024

3 Strategies To Increase Circularity Generous warranties and timelessness Warranty programs can help avoid outcomes where end users create waste simply because the product does not meet their expectations. Repair and component replacement Repairing a product avoids waste, and it has the added benefit of increasing clients’ loyalty. According to a study for the apparel industry conducted by Trove and Worldly, premium apparel and outdoor brands have the greatest carbon reduction potential available through resale options. The study also identifies three strategies to minimize waste and carbon emissions for products through extended-life goals: Trade-in and resale initiatives This is how to create a truly circular economy. Whether the product can be sold as is or its material repurposed into something new, kicking a product’s endof-life down the line is the most impactful sustainability goal a company can strive for. 1 2 3 It’s All About Where A Product Starts True circular programs must be planned, not reactive. Wanting to recycle a product does not guarantee that it is made of material that will allow for it to be reused. Durability, design and quality are also key factors. “On the sourcing side, it’s important to look at product quality upfront to make sure you are sourcing items that have resale and recycling potential from the get-go,” says Iris Kornbluth CEO of Los Angeles-based supplier Everywhere Apparel, which has circularity baked into its operations. Last year, Patagonia re-entered the promotional marketplace, welcoming products with embroidered logos through its Worn Wear program, which operates on a resale model. Not uncontroversial in its decision process, Patagonia is known to be selective in who it works with in its stated mission to be a sustainable and responsible company. This dances around another issue that drives home the intention required for successful circular movements. The type of branding put on a promotional product may magnify or minimize the product’s resale potential. “Choose artwork that is as timeless as possible,” advises Kornbluth. Everywhere Apparel focuses on the decoration factor by taking a circular approach to its clients as well. Working with the same clients repeatedly helps the company grow those relationships and allows the clients to better understand how circular programs work so the mission can become collaborative. New Africa / Shutterstock.com Circular Economy | Must Read PPAI • MAY 2024 • 65