The future of fashion. In your hands.

Circular design begins with better decisions. Let the Circulator lead the way.

There are big changes needed to address the fashion industry’s environmental impact. At H&M Group, we believe circularity is a large part of the solution.

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More than 70% of the footprint from products is determined at the design stage. By designing with circularity in mind, we can create a powerful shift towards a more sustainable fashion industry. That’s why we’re developing a tool for better design decisions.

The Circulator will support circular design, which is about making clothes that are made to be recirculated. In a nutshell: encourage people to wear, care and recycle.

This tool will be available for any brand, designer, or product team to use, learn and improve. Because to change fashion, we need to take a big leap. And we need to do it together.

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First, you’re guided through which materials, components, and design strategies are best suited for your product based on the product’s purpose. Will the piece see a lot of wear and tear? Should it be more durable or more recyclable? Will it be accessed through rental or retail?

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By defining how the product will be used, for how long and how often, it will be put into one of three Product Purpose Categories: light, mid or extensive.

This category is important because it will influence any future choices regarding materials and design strategies.

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Then, all the components — from material to fabric treatments — are scored according to their environmental impact, durability, and recyclability.

The product also receives a total Circular Product Score, pinpointing where it can be tweaked to become even more circular.

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As a large fashion company, we at H&M Group have a responsibility to act. The Circulator is a way of empowering our teams internally as well as other companies and designers, to design for circularity and transition towards a circular business model. Changing how we develop products will have a real impact. Going circular not only reduces pressure on virgin resources and avoids waste — it contributes to wider sustainability goals around climate and biodiversity. We want to be a part of the solution, not the problem.

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Be the change

Using the Circulator is a way to take action and develop more circular products with a lower environmental impact. Let’s shift the fashion industry from wasteful to resourceful.

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Demystify decisions

This tool will help you understand how your design choices impact a product’s circularity. See how each component and design decision affects the circularity of a product and learn how to make better choices over time.

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Closing the loop

Designing circular products demands a new approach, not just an extra step in the process. The Circulator helps you transition from linear to circular. It’s here to revolutionise the product development process.

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The design process is changing to a wider perspective. For us designers, it means making decisions not only based on materials and aesthetics but on how the customer will use, care for, repair, and eventually recycle the garment. The Circulator gives us this new perspective.

Ella Soccorsi

Concept Designer

Circular Design Story Collection


Ella Soccorsi

The Innovation Circular Design story has been designed using the Circulator. It’s a forward-thinking collection that focuses on innovative materials.

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The Circulator™ and accompanying guide have been developed based on the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s vision for a circular economy where products can be used more, are made to be made again, and made from safe and recycled or renewable inputs. There’s still a lot to learn, so the Circulator will be updated regularly to reflect the latest thinking and knowledge around circular product design.

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Get the guide

Download our accompanying guide on circular product development.

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