I tuned into an industry webinar last week about the barriers and opportunities of the circular economy for the fashion and textile industry here in Australia.

It’s great that as a country and industry we are finally addressing our clothing waste issue, with the forward-thinking Victorian government being the first state to finally include textiles as a priority waste stream. And the circular economy framework – made so easy to understand by the Ellen Macarthur Foundation (UK) – is a system that can potentially save a huge amount of material resources going to landfill or being sent overseas.

To re-design our old, linear fashion system to circularity will require a huge transformation – around how we design and produce garments; how we collect and manage clothing/textile waste at a local and national level; and our collective behaviours around clothing use and end-of-life.

Yet, new technologies and waste management systems are only part of the solution. Do you know what the most important thing that we will need to transform? Our personal values, mindsets and relationship to nature as a living system. I call this the ‘inner work’ in the transition towards a more sustainable fashion industry.

It’s the unsexy and hard, human behaviour stuff that we often ignore or gloss over but it’s essential for any real change.

If as fashion businesses and individuals we continue to believe that the earth’s natural resources are for us to use indiscriminately, we will never be able to shift the whole industry. The transformation will only come once we learn to  become stewards of our ecosystems  – in our business operations and as global citizens.

Education is the key to transforming our values and mindsets in the fashion industry. And this education must include the inner, individual work of mindfulness, values mapping and learning to develop empathy for ‘beyond the self’ issues like the environment.

I am super excited to be developing a series of online training courses that aim to support you and your brand – that include tools for mapping and leveraging your values and mindsets.

If you are keen to know more please sign up to my newsletter for the latest updates and launch information.

Image: Trend Tablet