In 2016, Flanders DC (or Flanders District of Creativity) and Circular Flanders launched Close The Loop, the online guide for circular fashion. Flanders DC, is the single point of contact for entrepreneurs in the creative industries in Flanders (Belgium). As an independent non-profit organisation, they actively support creative entrepreneurs who want to build or grow their business. Flanders Circular is the hub, the inspirator and matchmaker for the circular economy in Flanders.
Close The Loop is the online educational platform in circular fashion.
The goal of the platform is showing entrepreneurs that a circular economy is the future, and that there are practical steps to get there. Using the life-cycle of a garment, the interactive platform shows what you, as a company, can do to work more sustainably.
For each phase of this life-cycle they provide five strategies that you can apply in your company and we provide loads of practical tips for getting started right away. For example, at Close The Loop you will find an overview of the webshops where you can buy sustainable fabrics, the best download links for “zero waste” patterns, and guidelines for getting your end customer involved in your story, all the resources follow the below structure:
But information by itself won’t do the job, so the platform includes a database that of real-life case studies around circular fashion.
There are over 350 fashion case studies on the platform, including inspiring stories of fashion companies from Belgium and abroad that are taking steps in the right direction in one or more areas. In addition to cases about local creators and creative entrepreneurs such as Mats Rombaut, Honest By Bruno Pieters and La Fille d’O, fashion entrepreneurs can discover how large chains and international companies such as Nike, G-Star, Filippa K and H&M are handling this evolution.
Next to these inspiring cases, Flanders DC is building knowledge on CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) and a number of mature Flemish companies will be provided with tailor-made guidance and the most important lessons from this experience will be shared with the broader industry.
What does the future hold?
Sustainability will remain one of the themes we will continue to work on. Through presentations and workshops, we continue to raise awareness about Close The Loop. Flanders DC have also built a travelling installation together with textile designer Lotte Martens, that they are happy to share with partners all over the world.
Close The Loop has also received a great deal of attention at international level and are supporters of the European Clothing Action Plan.
Flanders DC built a strong community of fashion entrepreneurs who are willing to share knowledge and help each other to push this movement forward.