Val-de-Marne en Transition (FR) launches circular fashion network
The association from the French department of Val-de-Marne has launched a new initiative to focus on circularity in the fashion industry: ‘EcoFashion 94’ aims to revolutionize the local fashion lifecycle by implementing circular and sustainable practices in textiles.
The central aim of the ambitious network is threefold:
- to reduce new clothing purchases in Val-de-Marne
- to investigate business innovation by helping the waste sorting and recovery centre (called Ressourcerie) actors to change their current processes and economic models to make them more efficient as one of the best solutions to reduce new clothing purchases and to improve their self sustainability and resilience. For instance, they would co-create innovative and even disruptive selling, buying and upcycling solutions on a local scale, and generate new jobs.
- and to create a solid network of players committed to this approach.
EcoFashion 94, which has been established as part of the SHARED GREEN DEAL work in Val de Marne, aims to rethink fashion by aligning its practices with environmental imperatives, thereby promoting a circular economy.
The network began to take shape at the end of June, bringing together its first professional members for two evening meetings. These meetings provided an opportunity to present the project and encourage exchanges between the stakeholders involved.
During July and August 2023, the EcoFashion94.fr website was launched, providing an aesthetic platform to clearly define the four target groups of the approach:
- The general public, comprised of clothing consumers.
- Consumers interested in clothing, invited to join a club dedicated to fashion.
- Consumers interested in slow mode to join another club dedicated to sustainable fashion.
- The Local Accelerator Hub members: second-hand professionals and all stakeholders capable of innovating in this field.
- Partners, such as the Shared Green Deal project, which is funding the initiative, and Val-de-Marne en Transition, which is implementing it. In addition, the goal is to formalise Partnerships with the Regional Environment Agency ADEME Ile de France, the Territory of GPSEA (Grand Paris Sud Est Avenir), The Department Val-de-Marne and the Region.
In September, a survey targeting clothing consumers was launched in a variety of forms, including face-to-face interviews at the Sucy-en-Brie town association festival, as well as an online survey on the project's social networks. The figure below shows an example of the results of the first 31 responses to the online survey to the question “Why do you buy clothes?”.
One highlight thus far, the first of three official workshops, held on September 26, 2023. This workshop brought together seven clothing recycling professionals to launch the first three stages of the Design Thinking approach: empathy with the customer, definition of customer issues and brainstorming on possible solutions.
The meeting was held in the new "La Boissyclerie" recycling centre, which opened its doors to the public over the summer of 2023. Participants benefited from the use of three rooms, enabling productive sub-group discussions.
The EcoFashion 94 project was presented, highlighting the three key methods implemented: design thinking, non-violent communication and decision-making by consent. Participants were divided into three groups to work on customer empathy, seeking to better understand their needs by simulating possible dialogues between buyers and sellers. This was facilitated by the visual collaboration tool Klaxoon.com
In each group, a form of roleplay was carried out, taking the sides of buyers and managers, with notetaking. The aim was to reflect on more than just the practicalities, but also the emotions and the activities each stakeholder would feel and do in such situations.
Another aspect of the workshop focused specifically on "Problem definition" and "Brainstorming" and was tackled collectively, using the Persona marketing method to better understand customers and their challenges when entering a clothing recycling center.
One main problem identified by participants is the lack of choice in terms of the types and sizes of clothing available. Many innovative ideas emerged, which need to be consolidated for future action.
The second workshop of EcoFashion 94 takes place in December, and the outcomes will be presented in detail on the initiative's inspiring website.
This article is an adaption of the French article written by the Social Experiment co-lead Jean-Paul Grange. The Social experiments leads in Val-de Marne en Transition are Jean-Paul Grange and Sandrine Bernard.
* The number 94 in the name "EcoFashion 94" refers to the Val-de-Marne department, a dynamic region located in the Île-de-France region, close to Paris. In France, each department is allocated by a specific number, which is widely known and used, thus locals strongly identify with it. Parisians refer to themselves as being from Paris, while Val-de-Marne residents identify themselves as being from "94" or "neuf quatre".
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For further details please contact co-leads Professor Chris Foulds (email@example.com) and Professor Rosie Robison (firstname.lastname@example.org).
This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under grant agreement No 101036640. The sole responsibility for the content of this website lies with the SHARED GREEN DEAL HAS project and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the European Union.