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Designing for circularity


The way we design has been different since day one, choosing timelessness over passing trends, longevity and quality over throwaway fashion. Every piece that we create is designed in our London atelier by a team of in-house experts. Our collections are developed through several stages of quality checks and trials – nothing leaves our atelier without the approval of our design team. It’s how we’ve built your trust.

Now we’re on a journey to take this one step further by designing all our products for circularity. This means that when they reach the end of their life, they can be passed on to new owners, repaired with ease, or recycled into something new.

To create more circular collections, we will design products that can be used more, are made to be made again, and are made from safe and recycled or renewable materials. These are based on the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s vision for a circular economy for fashion.

Designing for circularity comes with complexities and we're exploring ways create our collections with circular guidelines in mind. So far, our focus has been on providing our teams with the necessary training to translate these principles into actionable strategies. We are now working on ways to implement more circular initiatives with key products to take as many learnings as possible before applying them to our wider collection.

Our approach
We first consider the purpose of the product and the role it will play in the wearer’s wardrobe – and its lifespan. For example, a coat is more likely to be kept and worn more over time than a party dress that will be worn only occasionally. Once this has been established, we can focus on applying the best design solutions to help every piece in the collection reach its circular potential.

We focus on three key impact areas during the design stages: durability, recyclability and environmental responsibility, which may vary depending on how the product will be used. For clothing that we use on a daily basis, such as shirts, jeans or knitwear, we want to strike the balance between designing for durability and recyclability.

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Discover Sustainability at COS