Nona Source brings circular economy into the fashion industry


What is a circular economy?

Although the fashion industry is familiar with the concepts of upcycling, eco-responsibility and circular economy, it is sometimes difficult to grasp their definition as well as the challenges and commitments they imply. The purpose of a circular economy, as compared to a linear economic model, is to consistently reuse and recycle all products in a closed-loop to bring back their value as materials. According to ADEME, the French Environment and Energy Management Agency, “Circular economy aims at leading to a new paradigm in comparison to a more traditional linear economic model, which would be achieved by avoiding wasting resources, as well as limiting the environmental impact and increasing efficiency of the product economy at all stages.In the fashion and luxury-good industries, a circular economy consists in inventing new ways of producing, consuming, and using waste in order to create an ethical loop system. Everyone involved will act in their own way at various stages of the product’s life cycle, for instance by choosing sustainable eco-friendly fabrics and leathers, repurposing or recycling clearance materials, by delivering parcels by bicycle as well as taking charge of recycling the product at the end of its life.

The 3 main aspects of a circular economy are:

  • Reducing waste and pollution
  • Constantly reusing materials and products in a loop-shaped system
  • Restoring ecosystems

How is the circular economy currently developed in the fashion industry?

There are many ways to tend towards a more eco-friendly fashion industry, one of them being circular economy. Since the beginning of 2022, the French Anti-Waste Law for a Circular Economy (AGEC) aims at lowering the environmental and social impact of fashion. This legislation is causing tremendous change in production processes as well as consumer behaviour. Circular economy can be applied to all stages of the product's life cycle and is directed towards all stakeholders in the clothing industry. It is based on 7 principles divided into 3 areas:

Circularity influences market supply 

  • Sustainable sourcing implies that resources are extracted and exploited in a way which ensures they can then be used efficiently.
  • Eco-design, or sustainable design means products are created in such a way that their environmental impact is kept low throughout their entire life cycle.
  • Industrial and territorial ecology means manufacturing processes are imagined in a way which generates industrial symbiosis. 
  • Functional economy promotes the use of a product and the sale of services related to this good.

Circularity applied to market demand and consumer behaviour

  • Ethical consumerism must allow consumers to assess the environmental impacts of a product throughout its life cycle before purchasing.
  • Extending product durability by allowing repair, resale or donation.

Waste management

  • Recycling consists in using raw materials found in waste and discarded items.

How does Nona Source contribute to circular economy in the fashion industry?

Because of minimum order quantity imposed by designer fabric and leather wholesale suppliers, but also following the cancellation of a design from a collection due to delays along the supply chain, because of the presence of minor defects (invisible to the naked eye), or even because a specific colour fails to meet expectations, the LVMH group’s luxury Fashion and Leather Goods Maisons keep unused rolls of high-end, high-quality fabrics and leathers… Nona Source was born from a desire to finally find a way to use these end-of-line materials to their full potential - a double aimed initiative since it allows brands to repurpose LVMH’s deadstock and to obtain better quality materials. Loewe, Moynat, Berluti, Lora Piana, Fendi, Christian Dior, Emilio Pucci, Givenchy, Kenzo, Marc Jacobs, Louis Vuitton, Patou, Celine…While each fashion house has its own history, style and unique know-hows, they all keep excellence as a core value. 

Nona Source put these unused fabrics and leathers selected by LVMH brands’ talented designers back on the market. By selling them at more affordable prices, the platform allows fashion and design professionals to stock up on discount luxury materials online - a service aimed at both young designers and large groups. Using upcycled quality materials, garments, sustainable footwear and accessories will have a better chance to last longer, be repaired if needed, and/or upcycled.

Deadstock fabrics and leathers are central in Nona Source’s action to promote a circular economy in the fashion industry and allow young creators to find luxury deadstock fabrics at competitive price.