H&M Group launches first part of Circulator design tool

The H&M Group has released the first part of Circulator, a new circular design tool that will aid the company’s goal of designing totally circular clothes by 2025 while also including industry partners in the future. By the end of 2021, the H&M brand, which is owned by the Group, will unveil a complete range of circular garments created with the tool.

The Circulator tool’s initial component, a downloadable guide, was released last week, inviting stakeholders to “co-create and learn together.” The input and lessons learned from this initial launch will be used to help develop the Circulator application’s second component, a scoring tool, which will be released in the future years and piloted with industry partners.

In future collaborations, the H&M Group said that with PVH Corp. and ASOS, they already have strong partners on their side who share their objectives to drive change in this field through industry collaboration. Two weeks ago, ASOS and the Centre for Sustainable Fashion released their own circular design tool.

The guide assists creators in making circularity decisions by guiding them through a four-step process that tries to balance durability and recyclability trade-offs based on the product’s purpose.

Step one is to understand the consumer, step two is to identify the product’s purpose category (light, medium, or extensive use), step three is to select appropriate materials, and step four is to select design methods, according to the guidance (such as for increased durability, non-durability, increase recyclability or waste avoidance).

Sarah Hayes, H&M Group’s Business Expert for Circularity, said when their teams use this tool, they see them have a true a-ha moment. As members of the industry, they’re all becoming more aware of the sector’s harmful influence on the environment and the difficulties facing the world. It’s incredibly empowering to be able to take practical measures to improve how items are created and utilized while also contributing to our climate goals.

The new tool was designed with the help of internal and external experts and will “increase awareness and decrease the complexity and subjectivity of circular design decisions,” according to the company.

Helena Helmersson, CEO of H&M Group, said that to fulfil their ambitious circular and climate targets, they must change the way they design and manufacture their items. They also acknowledge the need for industrial transformation to be accelerated, and the Circulator tool will help with both. Collaboration is the only way ahead, and they want to be at the forefront of the circular fashion transformation.