CIRCLE IMPACT REPORT 2023

PRODUCT.

ECO-DESIGN, OUR PRIORITY

Circularity, lifecycle, eco-design, and eco-conception.. these have been at the core of our decision-making since out création. In each of our creations, design, material selection, and end-of-life optimization are meticulously considered to adhere to the fundamental principles of eco-design and, more broadly, eco-conception.
What is eco-design? The eco-design process involves considering environmental aspects from the product's inception and throughout all stages of its lifecycle to create a product with the lowest possible environmental impact.

TO TRULY DESIGN A PRODUCT WITH ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT IN MIND, IT'S NECESSARY TO CONSIDER IT FROM THE PROJECT'S DESIGN PHASE. 

How does this eco-design process work? A triple objective: Circularity, Performance, and Desirability!


LESS, BUT BETTER 

In the pursuit of sustainable practices, we adhere to a philosophy of "less, but better." This involves a commitment to minimalist design, ensuring that each material contributes tangible benefits both technically and environmentally. We strive to offer designs that not only showcase natural materials but also enable the identification and separation of each component at the end of its lifecycle. Our goal is to maximize the utility of our materials for multiple purposes, thus minimizing the overall number of materials used. An example of this approach is the lining of our sports bras, thoughtfully crafted with the suitable materials from our Iconic t-shirts.


SELECTING RAW MATERIALS WITH PRECISION

Our choice of raw materials is a crucial step in our eco-conscious journey. We prioritize the use of materials sourced from natural or recycled resources. Right from the product's conception, we meticulously select materials with minimal environmental impact. Our objective is to meet stringent criteria for performance, quality, and ethics. With every material, we conduct a thorough analysis, trace the origin of each fiber, and scrutinize certifications to ensure adherence to our standards. Moreover, we often venture into the creation of new materials when there are no sufficiently local, natural, recycled, and performance-compliant solutions available in the market. This intricate process, lasting over 18 months, leaves no room for compromise when it comes to the quality and durability of our materials.


PRIORITIZING RECYCLING

For us, it's not just about envisioning what a product looks like at the point of sale, but also what it will become at the end of its life. This philosophy guides our approach to product creation. We place a significant emphasis on anticipating the durability and end-of-life of each product from its earliest design stages. This ensures a low-impact end-of-life plan, and to this end, we collaborate with multiple partners to rigorously test and analyze each product during development. We firmly believe that the most eco-responsible products are those that endure for the longest duration. Consequently, we offer a repair service to extend the lifespan of our garments, as durability remains at the heart of our sustainability commitment.  

OUR MATERIALS

RECYCLED Q-NOVA® POLYAMIDE

Recycled polyamide is a synthetic filament crafted entirely from pre-consumer nylon waste, collected and processed within Italian yarn manufacturing facilities. The yarn and dyeing processes are certified by Oeko-Tex Standard 100, Reach, GRS, and LCA by ICEA.

Environmental Impact - A Comparison with Virgin Polyamide (Non-Recycled) 

  • 80% reduction in CO2 emissions
  • 90% decrease in water consumption
  • The transformation process is mechanical, free from harmful chemicals, both for human health and the environment.

Initiatives by Our Fabric Supplier Qnova®

  • Savings of approximately 400 tons of CO2 annually  
  • Internal water resource management system maintains water consumption at optimal levels 
  • Reuses 98% of its production

RECYCLED NEWLIFE™ POLYESTER

Recycled polyester is a synthetic filament derived entirely from post-consumer transparent plastic bottles. These bottles are collected from waste bins located within a 40-kilometer radius of Turin, Italy, and then undergo mechanical recycling and extrusion in Biella, Italy. The yarn and dyeing processes are certified by Oeko-Tex Standard 100, Reach, GRS, and LCA by ICEA.

Environmental Impact - A Comparison with Virgin Polyester (Non-Recycled) 

  •   Collection rate of 25 tons per hour
  • 60% reduction in energy consumption 
  • 32% decrease in CO2 emissions
  • 94% reduction in water consumption
  • The transformation process is mechanical, free from harmful chemicals, both for human health and the environment.

Action by our fabric supplier who uses Newlife™

  • Participates in the city's water treatment with the Bourgoin-Jallieu water treatment plant

RECYCLED ROICA™ ECO SMART ELASTANE

Recycled elastane is a synthetic filament composed of 58% pre-consumer nylon waste collected and processed in Germany, along with 42% regenerated nylon 6.6, also in Germany. The yarn and dyeing processes carry certifications: Cradle to Cradle Gold Level, Oeko-Tex Standard 100, Reach, and GRS.

Environmental Impact - A Comparison with Virgin Elastane (Non-Recycled) 

  • 35% reduction in CO2 emissions 
  • 75% decrease in heating energy consumption 
  • 64% decrease in the use of raw materials in production 
  • Over 50% polymer waste recovery during polymerization 
  • Over 90% yarn recovery during spinning
  • The transformation process is mechanical, free from harmful chemicals, both for human health and the environment.

Initiatives by Our Fabric Supplier Utilizing Roica™ Eco Smart

  • 98% reduction in water consumption
  • Approximately 45% energy reduction: 460 KW of photovoltaic panels integrated with solar energy systems.

These sustainable practices align with our commitment to reducing our ecological footprint and fostering a more environmentally responsible supply chain.

IMPACT OF OUR MATERIALS

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Made in Europe

All of our products are locally manufactured by our partners in Europe.

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From recycled materials

Out of our entire collections, 87% of our clothing is made from recycled materials.

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Of naturally sourced materials

Out of our entire collections, 92% of our clothing is made from materials of natural origin.

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Recyclable and/or biodegradable 

All of our products are recyclable and/or biodegradable at the end of their life.

0 KM

Traveled on average during the various stages of product manufacturing

On average, our clothing travels 6 times fewer kilometers, compared to an average of 45,000 kilometers for sports apparel manufactured in Asia.

SUPERNATURAL RUNNER

High Performance, Ethical, and Sustainable - No Compromises

We couldn't find running shoes that were both circular, high-performance, and stylish enough to take us where we wanted to go. So, we created them. With the SuperNatural Runner, our ambition was to create the world's most sustainable running shoe. It is the first circular and bio-sourced performance running shoe made in Europe. Its eco-friendly materials and innovative construction methods, greatly lowers its environmental impact. This innovative running shoe, the result of collaboration with industry leaders, is the first performance running shoe abiding by the principles of circular economy who blends top-notch performance and sustainability, aiming to transform the running industry. 


CIRCULAR

Natural and bio-sourced materials which are highly recyclable or biodegradable. And a construction that allows easy
Disassembly of these different materials at the end of life. The upper part of the shoe is biodegradable, and the sole is recyclable while enabling the production of future soles from existing ones.


PERFORMANCE

1 million of strides analyzed, 290 grams of performance. The SuperNatural Runner was co-developed with over 50 athletes, covering more than 5,000 kilometers to analyze every impact and sensation, delivering a unique experience across all distances


LOCAL

Made in Europe with a high quality, ethical and local supply chain.


SUSTAINABLE PARTNERS

An ecosystem of partners and ambassadors to create, together, the running shoe of the future.

“Our in-house technical team worked collaboratively on the development of the shoe’s upper, harnessing the performance benefits of Merino wool - such as dryness, breathability and odour resistance - to push the innovative nature of the fibre for a high-performance running shoe.” John Roberts - The Woolmark Company Managing Director -

“The performance footwear industry is dominated by petroleum-based developments. Circle Sportswear, however, took the challenge and stared to create a solution with the SuperNatural Runner to design a running shoe which uses plant-based materials without compromising performance. The combination of TENCEL™ Lyocell Filament by Lenzing and wool by Woolmark using the ProWeave® technology by Coats Footwear opens up new possibilities to push synthetic-free shoe upper developments also in the sport footwear industry.” Lenzing AG, Nicole Schram, Global Business Development Manager

CIRCLE IMPACT REPORT 2023

CIRCULARPERF LAB

FUTURE FABRICS ARE IN PROGRESS

Our commitment to innovation is aimed at making circularity accessible to all. Our technical team is hard at work, crafting novel materials that are lighter, more resilient, breathable, and recycled, all for our product ranges. In partnership with trusted allies, we are reshaping our production, with a focus on crafting high-quality, eco-conscious apparel that retains style, comfort, and performance.

NANOTECH™

We partnered with IMT Mines Albi as part of the "Nanotech" research program to analyze the release of micro- and/or nanoplastic particles from our clothing during a washing cycle. The goal was to assess the impact of our products and find solutions to mitigate the release of microplastics during the washing process.

PLNT-FOAM™

INNOVATION & CIRCULARITY

For the midsole of the SuperNatural Runner we developed our innovative PLNT-FOAM™ foam created partially from Ricin plants in partnership with Arkema, combining the best of performance and sustainability. 

NANOTECH™

We have partnered with IMT Mines Albi as part of the "Nanotech" research program to analyze the release of micro and/or nanoplastic particles from our garments during their usage and washing cycles. The objective is to assess the environmental impact of our products throughout their user life cycle and to find solutions to mitigate and counteract particle release.

This issue was addressed at the RAPSODEE laboratory of IMT Mines Albi and the French Institute of Textile and Clothing (IFTH). We were able to evaluate particle release on three material references:

  • 100% recycled PES fabric used for our "One for All" shorts
  • 49% recycled PES and 43% recycled PA knit fabric used for "Agility" t-shirts
  • 65% recycled polyamide and 25% recycled elastane knit used for our "Get in Shape," "Get Shorty," or "Hit the Road" leggings and shorts

Analysis Context

Particle size measurements were conducted using laser diffraction to determine particle size and size distribution. This enabled the characterization of particles ranging from 10 nm to 3500 μm. 

Washing Tests 

  • Reference 1: 100% recycled PES fabric + undergarment

Surface foam observed / Slight variation in obscuration, indicating a minimal presence of objects / Particle sizes were not exploitable; however, microscopy confirmed the presence of fibers and other aggregates from the analyzed textile.

  • Reference 2: 49% recycled PES, 43% recycled PA, and recycled elastane knit

Surface foam and cloudy water observed / A low quantity of objects detected after the 2nd sampling / Smallest particle diameters: 1 to 2 microns / Average particle diameters ranged from 58.3 to 60.9 microns.

  • Reference 3: 65% recycled polyamide and 25% recycled elastane knit 

Cloudy water observed / A low quantity of objects detected after the 2nd sampling / Smallest particle diameters: 15 microns / Average particle diameters ranged from 72 microns.

Results and a hypothesis.

Particle release is confirmed, occurring in very low quantities, approximately 5 times lower than products made from traditional synthetic fibers. This is mainly attributed to the use of environmentally friendly solvents and materials during production. An additional hypothesis is that the higher the percentage of recycled materials, the lower the particle release.

CIRCLE IMPACT REPORT 2023

TRANSPARENCY AND TRACEABILITY

We ensure full traceability and transparency in our supply chain.

Zoé Loevenbruck, Production Manager at Circle Sportswear.

Article 13 of the AGEC law mandates the mandatory display of certain environmental product characteristics to inform the public by 2026. While this law does not yet apply to small businesses, our commitment to sustainability is at the core of everything we do. By choosing to collaborate with Fairly Made to conduct Life Cycle Assessments on our garments (an evaluation method aimed at quantifying the environmental impacts of a product or service), we have analyzed all our various materials to assess each of our products, thus ensuring complete traceability verified by a third party. Through this analysis, we provide our community with full transparency regarding our supply chain and its impact. 

OUR KEY NUMBERS

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Of our materials analyzed 

Using its LCA method, Fairly Made has analyzed 100% of the materials we use in our various collections.

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Traceability

Fairly Made awarded a perfect score of 5/5 after analyzing our production chain for traceability. 

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Recyclability

Fairly Made awarded a score of 4.1/5 after assessing the recyclability of our products.

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PEF

The PEF (Product Environmental Footprint) assigned by Fairly Made aims to evaluate the environmental impacts of our products throughout their life cycle.

TRANSPARENCY AND TRACEABILITY

For You and For Us!

Since the inception of Circle Sportswear, we have maintained 100% traceability for all our products. In other words, we can reconstruct the entire journey from the raw materials to the final garment, encompassing spinning, weaving, and dyeing.

We have opted not to use labels on Circle clothing but instead employ QR codes. These serve as a passport that details each stage of manufacturing and offers various end-of-life options for the product.

Collaborating with Fairly Made, an independent certifying body, further solidifies this transparency, resulting in a top-notch rating of 5/5 for traceability. Our choice of suppliers, their proximity, and their certifications provide us with a clear view of the origins of all the components that constitute our products.

CIRCLE IMPACT REPORT 2023

CERTIFICATIONS

In our pursuit of transparent and sustainable practices, our partners' certifications play a central role in ensuring the integrity of each step in the production of our clothing: from the transformation of raw materials into thread, to the dyeing process, and ultimately manufacturing. These certifications cover various aspects of environmental and social responsibility, shaping a holistic view of our operations.

Oeko-Tex Standard 100 - This certification ensures that the final fabric, dyes and finishes are free from substances harmful to our health. It takes into account a wide range of regulated and non-regulated substances, including pesticides, carcinogenic dyes and heavy metals. 

GRS - Global Recycled Standard - GRS certification measures and certifies the percentage of recycled materials in the fabric (a minimum of 50%), as well as compliance with various environmental and social criteria. Companies must respect and monitor legal requirements concerning water consumption, energy consumption and the production of greenhouse gases. Burning waste on site is prohibited, and legal regulations on wastewater must be followed, with a dedicated system for treating wastewater before it is discharged into watercourses. GRS also certifies the prohibition of forced and child labor, discrimination, harassment and abuse, while ensuring workers' health and safety, wages, working hours and various social aspects.

Cradle to Cradle Gold Level - With this certification, products are assessed for their environmental and social performance in five critical sustainability categories: health, material reuse, renewable energy and carbon management, water management, and social fairness. The health category guarantees the absence of harmful substances in product manufacturing. Material reuse aims to eliminate the concept of waste by contributing to products staying in perpetual cycles of use and reuse. The renewable energy category ensures manufacturing with renewable energy sources. Lastly, water management aims to improve watershed protection. The goal of these categories is to certify the entire operations necessary for a product's manufacturing. 

Bluesign - This certification ensures the absence of toxic substances to humans and the environment, optimizing resources and waste management. It addresses environmental requirements with an emphasis on resource efficiency in production and manufacturing, controlled water consumption, chemical use, and CO2 emissions. In terms of social standards, Bluesign certifies the prohibition of forced labor and child labor, worker health and safety, and gender equality.

Reach - Reach is a standard that controls the use of chemicals in the European industry. Its goal is to identify, evaluate, and control chemicals manufactured, imported, and placed on the European market.

A SUSTAINABLE PACKAGING 

Since our inception, we have committed ourselves to seeking low-carbon impact solutions, not just for our products, but also for our packaging. Circle's packaging meets our quality and durability standards while minimizing their environmental footprint. 

LOW CARBON IMPACT AND RECYCLABILITY 

We strongly believe in using recycled materials to reduce our environmental footprint. Our packaging is entirely recyclable, designed in Europe, and crafted from natural materials. This thoughtfully chosen approach minimizes our environmental impact while ensuring the highest quality packaging.


LOCAL SOURCING FOR PACKAGING

Our commitment to environmentally friendly practices is reflected in our choice of partners and local sourcing. We prioritize Portugal and France for our packaging, significantly reducing our carbon footprint. Our trusted partners, such as Cadica in Italy and Open Eyes in Poland, share our dedication to sustainable solutions.


MULTI-PURPOSE PACKAGING

We view each piece of packaging as an opportunity to share our values and commitment to the environment. That's why we design our packaging with multiple purposes, going beyond their mere functionality. Each package serves as a communication medium, conveying a message that reflects our sustainability efforts.

By adhering to these criteria, we are confident that our packaging will significantly contribute to our sustainability mission while providing a meaningful brand experience for our customers. 

THE MOST SUSTAINABLE PRODUCT IS THE ONE THAT LASTS THE LONGEST.

CIRCLE IMPACT REPORT 2023

BACK TO THE FUTURE 

OUR COMMITMENT TO CIRCULARITY 

Product end-of-life is one of the most critical aspects of circularity. When you consider that every year, the equivalent of the weight of 13 Eiffel Towers ends up in the trash, a solution had to be found. Our goal is to minimize the creation of overconsumption waste. Thanks to our Back ToThe Future program, you can find the best option based on your situation: customization, repair, or recycling!

How does this program work? What do we do with the clothes once they are collected? 

Upon receiving our products, our technical team conducts a product assessment to determine the best alternative. Three distinct solutions are offered to our customers to address different stages in the life of our products.


CUSTOMIZATION 

Create a unique product, look, or style while extending the life of your products with Circle badges.


REPAIR 

Our ambition is to make our products last as long as possible, for you and for the planet. If a product is damaged but repairable, we are committed to restoring it to extend its life. We have partnered with Tilli Paris, a network of 500 expert craftsmen, to implement a comprehensive repair process for all our products. We have tested and collaborate with carefully selected seamstresses, all equipped with technical machinery adapted to the repair of our high-performance products.

How does it work in practice?


RECYCLING

Recycling is an energy-intensive process and will only be considered as a final solution if the clothing cannot be repaired or upcycled.

How does it work in practice?

Each product is tested to assess its recyclability potential. If the material has not lost its strength and performance, our partner transforms it into yarn to create new fabrics. Conversely, if it cannot be re-used, new items or accessories are manufactured.