Ahluwalia and Microsoft Collaborate on Circulate, a Web App for Garment Recycling


British fashion label Ahluwalia and Microsoft are fusing design, culture and technology to reinvent sustainable fashion. Founder and namesake Priya Ahluwalia shares her dedication to ethical and environmentally friendly practices with all through Circulate. The new Microsoft-powered web app kicks off its beta launch in London, the designer’s hometown. It allows users to receive credit for donating lightly used clothing for recycling rather than throwing it into a landfill. Ahluwalia will then use the donated items to create new pieces for her collections. The program aims to create a circular fashion cycle in which clothes take on new shapes instead of polluting the Earth.

Large amounts of waste are a cause emissions, waste reduction is therefore a priority to establish a more ethical fashion industry. Ahluwalia and Microsoft’s new program aims to alleviate the problem. Circulate’s mission is to create an environmentally friendly alternative to discarded clothing and make it accessible to everyone through technology.

Courtesy of Ahluwalia and Microsoft

Drawing inspiration from her Indian and Nigerian heritage, Ahluwalia created Circulate with shared practices in mind. She saw the importance of passing on clothing and other items as having cultural value. “In Indian and Nigerian cultures, it is traditional to pass on clothing and personal effects from generation to generation,” she said in a press release. “Personally, I have a lot of special items from different family members that are very dear to me. For example, my great-grandfather’s first English dictionary and a lot of clothes my mother wore in her twenties. This ritual was a key inspiration during the development of Circulate.

This is a continuation of Ahluwalia’s sustainability efforts as a designer which were also influenced by her journey. After seeing the impact of garment dumping in India and Nigeria, a common occurrence in southern countries, Ahluwalia is committed to adopting non-harmful fashion. Take note of the use of second-hand clothing at Aswan Market in Lagos, Nigeria and Panipat, in India, the world capital of clothing recycling, she has chosen to reuse parts when designing new creations. Known for her street wear, Ahluwalia’s pieces are taken from used clothing and reused as patchwork, changing a popular trend and the growing movement for sustainability. His work has received important awards and recognitions both fashion and environmental communities.

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