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VISIT LIVE! Bleckmann explores scaling up the circular model

Tom Shearsmith
02 March 2023

Reporting from LIVE! Resale, rental and repair, Bleckmann joined a panel of experts to discuss how a business should scale up its circular model and improve customer relationships.

Ron Thijssen, CSR Manager at Bleckmann was joined by Tamara Zwart, Director of Renewal Operations at Bleckmann, and Gemma Juviler, Commercial Director at British Fashion Council (BFC).

Bleckmann market themselves as expertise in logistics for fashion and lifestyle brands, with a host of experience with sustainable solutions to help businesses grow with a lower carbon footprint. The business provides its services to some well known brands including Gymshark, Superdry, Karl Largerfeld, and Ganni.

Speaking to a crowd of leaders from the fashion industry, Ron Thijssen said: "The behaviour of the 'normal' consumer is often confusing to someone so deeply involved in circularity. People often throw garments away because stains, broken zips, broken poppers or just a small rip.

"Our work with fashion and lifestyle brands not only involves helping shorten lead times for deliveries, for example. We also work with brands to help encourage people to repair and provide the services to do so - we have factories all over Europe and four in the UK. Our end goal for circularity is to promote longevity rather see further waste."

Tamar Zwart added: “When it comes to scaling up a circular model, my mantra is ‘Progression over Perfection’. I think it's very important to just get started and see what is possible for the existing business. It's then very easy to work with what you first implement and tailor it to work best for both the business and consumer. We all have the same end goal - circularity, so working together when possible to achieve the best outcome should always be in any business leader's mind.”

Of course, circular business is also a key focus for the BFC. In December 2022, the British Fashion Council announced six winners of the newly-established ‘Circular Fashion Innovator’s Fund’, which is aimed at helping grow small businesses, delivering £100,000 in grants.

Each of the six winning businesses, which all provide circular fashion solutions, are receiving mentoring from industry leaders and a £15,000 grant to help their growth.

Gemme Juviler, Commercial Director at the BFC concluded: “Whether it’s up-cycling dead stock or forming new fabric initiatives, the one thing that we must harness in this difficult conversation is that we are an incredibly creative and innovative industry. If we can collectively come together and make fair, reasonable decisions for the fashion industry with a roadmap to success, we can build a better and more sustainable future - a vital part of that is businesses having a circular model where possible.”

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