Kmart Group transition towards a circular fashion system

Kmart Group transition towards a circular fashion system

As part of Kmart Group’s commitment to using natural resources responsibly, reducing waste and minimising impact on climate, the business is on a transformative journey to change the way it works in the transition to a circular economy. In contrast to the traditional ‘linear economy’ model, a circular economy is about designing out waste and pollution along every step of the product life cycle and keeping materials in circulation for as long as possible. This requires collaboration across the supply chain, government and industry to achieve system change. 

While the transition to a circular fashion system is not something that can be achieved overnight, Kmart Group is making progress in the way it reuses waste across various stages of the product life cycle. First, Kmart Group is making changes by sourcing and incorporating more recycled materials in selected active, outerwear, denim, swimwear, footwear and bedding ranges. This helps to reduce reliance on raw material (or virgin fibres) and creates demand for recycled materials that would otherwise go to landfill. 

Secondly, Kmart Group is working to find ways to reuse waste generated in the production of garments through its participation in the Circular Fashion Partnership, a cross-sector project led by the Global Fashion Agenda, with Reverse Resources, Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association and P4G, to develop long-term scalable solutions for capturing and reusing post-production textile waste. By directing post-production textile waste back into the production of new fashion products, there is opportunity to scale recycling capacity within Bangladesh and generate economic benefits from these waste streams that have traditionally been exported. 

Kmart Group has engaged over 30 suppliers operating in Bangladesh on this project. Details provided by suppliers through self-completion surveys has revealed over 70 per cent of recyclable fabric compositions used by participating suppliers are highly recyclable, with over 20 per cent of recyclable waste generated as a result of Kmart Group orders. This data confirms the opportunity to connect suppliers with long-term recycling partners and identify new pathways for reusing textile waste.