In mid-June, Asos, which sells over 850 labels including its own clothing and accessories lines, confirmed that it will ban cashmere, silk, down and feathers across its entire platform by the end of January 2019.
"People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) applauds Asos for leading the charge for compassion in fashion," director of corporate projects, Yvonne Taylor, commented. "In response to PETA's campaigns, consumers are changing the face of the industry by demanding that designers and retailers ditch animal-derived materials in favour of cruelty-free alternatives that look great without causing suffering."
Asos joined over 140 brands, including Topshop, H&M and Marks & Spencer, by halting its use of mohair after PETA released a video exposé of mohair production in South Africa in May 2018.
Now Vogue UK shares news that Asos is launching a new initiative to educate its designers on sustainability.
The pilot training program on circular fashion in partnership with the London College of Fashion’s Centre for Sustainable Fashion (CSF) is part of the 2020 Circular Fashion Commitments that Asos promised to achieve at the Copenhagen Fashion Summit last year. The course will explore end-to-end design techniques that consider the whole life cycle of a product, rather than simply creating new ones.
15 members of Asos's core design team will complete and refine the pilot program before rolling it out across all Asos design departments.
“We need to paint a vision of what a circular economy can look like,” Ellen MacArthur, who launched the Ellen MacArthur Foundation to inspire a generation to re-think, re-design and build a positive future circular economy, added: “In a time of creativity and innovation, why would we ever turn anything into waste?” By educating the creators of its garments, Asos is changing the roots of its business - changes, that should, in time, influence the 140-plus brands it stocks on its global retail platform.