Circular fashion has arrived as T-shirts are being made again from worn out ones, proving that fashion really does come round again.

Buglife has collaborated with Teemill, a fashion/tech business on the Isle of Wight, to launch T-shirts made from worn out organic t-shirts and designed to come back to be remade again and again.

More than 100 billion items of clothing are made per year, and yet a truck full of textiles is burned or buried in landfill every second.

Current projections indicate that the linear clothing industry, which takes resources and creates waste at a furious pace, will more than triple by 2050.

By using modern technologies like AI to maximise the efficiency of the supply chain, the Buglife products made by Teemill are printed in a renewable energy-powered factory in real time seconds after they are ordered.

There is no unsold stock.

“Slowing down fast fashion won't fix it, but when we took material people normally throw away at the end and make new products from it at the start, it changed everything. What is needed is the technology to make the reverse logistics of fashion possible and economical. That’s exactly what we’ve done,” explained Mart Drake-Knight, design engineer at Teemill.

Customers can buy products from the Buglife store or start their own brand selling their own custom prints for free using Teemill’s systems.

Teemill hopes that open source and circularity will lead to rapid change in the fashion industry, and it’s the first time this has been done. 

Customers scan the label inside with their phone to activate a free post returns coupon when the product is worn out.  Teemill recover and remanufacture the materials into new T-shirts and give the customer £5 off a new item. 

Technology efficiencies enable these plastic free, organic and recycled T-shirts to be retailed new at £20.

Mr Drake-Knight continued: “Customers are incentivised to keep the material flowing with money off their next purchase, Teemill benefits from lower material costs and the model is truly sustainable. It’s a circular fashion economy where everybody wins.”

“Fast fashion has added so much to pollution and waste that to be in at the cutting edge of ethical fashion fits perfectly with our ethos of saving the small things that run the planet.”