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Q&A with CAP member: Harsha Vardhan

Feb 25, 2021

Briefly describe your background, interests & areas of expertise?

I have an educational background of Textile Technology and Environment Management and I have been working in the field of fashion for more than 20 years. The majority of these years were spent in the areas of Environment Sustainability (especially with circular materials, water and climate change).

What does circularity in the textiles industry mean to you?

The first goal towards circularity should be to achieve “zero waste economy” and eventually, our ambition should be to provide fashion to the world without using any virgin resource. That would be a true circular vision for the textile industry.

What does your company/organisation do to bring about circularity (core relevant activities/commitments, highlight short and long term goals, if relevant).

H&M Group is on a journey to become a truly circular company. We are working on multiple projects in this direction with several ambitious goals. You can read more about it here:
https://hmgroup.com/sustainability/circular-and-climate-positive/

What made your decision to join the CAP?

This is a unique opportunity to interact, learn and collaborate with several global experts in the field of circularity. They all come with different perspectives and experience, which makes this platform both fun and meaningful. Apart from that, CAP also gives us an opportunity to practically implement some of our ideas through Worn Again’s business model.

How important is this Circular Advisory Panel approach for preparing a company like WA for the market (i.e. a business starting out with the sole purpose of enabling circularity but entering the market in ‘linear times’)? What do you think it will bring to the company?

WA can gain a lot from the experience shared within the CAP. The CAP members represent different parts of the Textile value chain and beyond. WA can test some of its business plans with these experts, in order to fine-tune its long-term business strategy.

What do you believe the biggest hurdles/opportunities for transitioning to a new circular business mindset will be, for WA, for the industry?

Feedstock, technology and commercial feasibility – these are the main hurdles, as well as opportunities. Whoever gets them right will be able to completely change the industry from a linear to a circular model.

 

Name 3 things you think businesses will be doing differently in a circular future.

  1. Value waste as a resource at every level.
  2. Engage customers in company’s circular journey
  3. Embrace technology (especially recycling technology) more than ever before.

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