From food to fashion: reusing waste for promoting sustainable fashion

Olena Dymchenko - O.M.Beketov National University of Urban Economy in Kharkiv, Patrizia Gazzola - University of Insubria, Roberta Rita Pezzetti - University of Insubria, Cecilia Severi - University of Gastronomic Sciences


The aim of the paper is to analyse an increasingly frequent and alarming problem, the generation of waste created along the entire food industry chain, with the aim to highlight the possibility of reusing waste in order to produce fashion items through new business models based on the principles “of the circular economy paradigm.” The paper investigates not only the companies’ business models adopted in order to transform what is considered waste and a mere cost into a new resource with a new value, but also the application of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The paper is divided into two parts: the first part is theoretical and is based on the literature review, in the second part an inductive approach has been applied.

Due to the literature review two Research Questions have been investigated:

RQ n. 1 – Can the use of food waste in fashion industry reduce the impact of the polluting? 

RQ n. 2 – What SDGs follow the companies of the fashion circular economy?

In the research it was highlighted that through the application of an economy based on a circular model, solutions can be found to the problems of waste. Particular attention is paid on the possibilities of recovering by-products, through the analysis of “five best practices”: Orange Fiber, Duedilatte, Vegea, Piñatex and S. Café. The five business case histories show how a food by-product can be used in the fashion. The “circular business models” which have been examined contribute to the achievement of some of the 17 Sustainable Development objectives subscribed to by UN member countries, as examples of sustainable production and consumption patterns, inclusive economic growth, responsible innovation and a strong focus on safeguarding our planet. 

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Registered by the Cancelleria del Tribunale di Pavia N. 685/2007 R.S.P. – electronic ISSN 2038-5498


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