“My Journey to a Circular Fashion”
August 8th, 2019 | Sustainability
Prelude: Founder Kathleen Kuo discusses her journey to creating Opus Mind. Being personally exposed to waste and pollution while working for luxury fashion, she sought to change the industry by pushing a circular fashion.
Begin With My Why
2 years ago, I met my 10th year working in the fashion industry. Over that time, I accumulated work experience with brands—such as Chanel, Dior, Zara, BCBG Max Azria—in all parts of the world; Los Angeles, Shanghai, Paris and Hong Kong. I witnessed major issues in manufacturing and excess inventory management. As much as I love working in an industry that creates so much beauty, I couldn’t reconcile with the amount of waste and pollution created by standard production methods.
When you look at the statistics, it’s clear how much the fashion industry is responsible for climate change, depleting our resources while emitting enormous amounts of carbon along the way. The UN report named the fashion industry the 2nd most polluting industry behind fossil fuel. We live in the most innovative and technologically-advanced times, which is why it shocks me that we haven’t yet found a solution for this.
This is How
I believe that given the choice, people will choose to shop sustainable. But that means more transparency on the industry practices. A new movement toward a circular economy holds the promise of extending the life of a product, while rethinking the impact of it at each stage. Today, only one percent of clothing is recycled and almost three-quarters (73%) ends up in landfills.
A push towards a circular economy is necessary to reduce our carbon footprint. The best place to start is the planning process, where we can try and understand how to optimize the supply chain. This also extends to the design, raw material usage, long-lasting quality, and recyclable processes.
We started with leather because, not only, it heavily pollutes the environment through its tanning process, a lot of excess waste are created when cut into irregular shapes. These unused scraps are thrown and unequivocally end in landfills. It takes 40-50 years for that leather to decompose. During that time, greenhouse gasses form and impact global warming. In order to change that, we collect the excess leather scraps from factories and make a new material, thereby extending its life cycle. By using upcycled leather, we hope to lower the need of new leather and divert the excess leather scraps from landfills.
Embracing Your Impact
It took us 200 years since the industrial revolution to understand the impact of carbon emissions. How long will it take us to do something about it? Now is the time for change. You hold the power to accelerate positive impacts to our planet. A better fashion industry means making mindful choices.
Your support in our product proves to the fashion industry that people care. We need your help in pushing the fashion industry into its next evolution: a circular fashion.
Founder & CEO
Circular Fashion. Zero waste initiative. Conscious Luxury.