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What is Circular Shopping?

Apr 6, 2021 /

Circular shopping

There is a movement gathering pace. A movement that’s already picked up steam, and a host of big brand champions in the fashion industry along the way. And there is ample room for much more than just clothing. It’s all to do with changing attitudes to the throw-away culture so many of us have grown up with. At last, and not before time, this culture is being disrupted. Circular shopping is coming.


How does circular shopping work?


Circular shopping is all about creating a more sustainable future for the retail industry. Each and every one of us has a part to play in reducing the volume of waste that ends up in landfill and our oceans. Simply by being mindful about what we are buying, where it has come from, and where it is headed once we’re done with it, we can together contribute to the larger movement towards designing out waste.

For years, the general retail attitude has been based around ‘buy-use-dispose’. But in truth, so many of the products that are cast aside once we’re done with them are not yet ready for the rubbish tip.

And that’s where the circular shopping model comes in. Instead of being thrown out, items are rented, swapped or sold. Or, if they’re past their best, repurposed and transformed into something that’s usable again.


Where are we up to with circular shopping right now?


Circular shopping is already happening in the fashion industry. It’s estimated that in the UK alone, consumers have over £30 billion worth of unworn clothes in their wardrobes. Fashion designer and sustainability pioneer Stella McCartney said, “The future of fashion is circular. It has to be.”

 “Right now, the equivalent of one dump truck of textiles gets landfilled or burned every second, and by 2025 the clothing waste accumulated between now and then will weigh as much as today’s world population. We can’t ignore it.”

A host of brands and fashion designers have already adopted circular fashion models. The phrase ‘circular fashion’ was actually coined back in 2014 by Dr Anna Brismar. This re-routing of the traditional ‘cradle to grave’ journey for clothing and accessories has come about in response to shocking statistics, like the fact that an estimated £140 million worth of clothing goes to landfill or is incinerated every year in the UK.

“£140 million worth of clothing goes to landfill or is incinerated every year in the UK.”

Circular fashion, and circular shopping in general, seek to disrupt the linear course of retail, keeping clothing and other products in use courtesy of the likes of recycling, and repurposing. It’s about avoiding, where possible, the production of completely new products, with a view to cutting down environmentally harmful waste.


Designing out waste, to heal the planet


A core aspect of circular shopping is designing out waste from the outset…

  • Giving thought to how a piece is designed, how long it will last, how timeless it can be and whether it has the potential to be recycled or repurposed.
  • Considering the materials products are made from, and whether they are sustainable.
  • And then onto the actual production of the piece, whether it is ethical and fair for all and everything involved.


Designing out waste involves reducing the amount of resources used to produce consumer goods at the start point, as well as cutting what ends up in landfill and the end point.

Circular shopping is a new approach to managing how we shop, in a way that helps to heal the planet, rather than carry on hurting it.


How Kola Project is addressing the global waste crisis courtesy of the world’s first fully circular shopping experience


Kola Project specialises in creating quality consumer products with the waste designed out from the very start. It is the world’s first fully circular shopping experience, based on an exclusive return and reuse program which allows shoppers to buy in complete confidence, knowing that whether the item they’ve bought has broken or they just don’t want it any more, they can return it for repair, refurbishment, recycling or composting.

Discover more about the story behind Kola Project, or start your circular shopping experience right here, and take the first step towards making your own personal contribution to disrupting the world’s throw away culture, and helping to heal our planet.

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