Pathways to Circular Fashion in Vietnam


    This report is Vietnam’s first discussion on circularity for Fashion as a sustainable path to mitigate waste and pollution. As a manufacturing stronghold coupled with a growing economy and consumer market, Vietnam holds a key position to accelerate the circular transformation in the global fashion value chain.

    After our public panel talk, “Pathways to Circularity and Sustainability”, co-hosted with RMIT’s School of Communications & Design during RMIT’s Vietnam’s Festival of Creativity and Design, the ICM Falk Foundation is pleased to announce the publication of the report Pathways to Circular Fashion in Vietnam.

    Based on interviews led by the researchers of RMIT’s School of Communications & Design and insights collected, analyzed, and written by the ICM Falk Foundation’s team, a broad picture of the current value chain with Vietnam’s unique position is drawn as a manufacturing hub and a high-growth consumer market.

    The research uncovered clear challenges for the local ecosystem, both for established international companies in Vietnam and Vietnamese startups alike. From a lack of readily-available support for funding, technology, and capacity, the Vietnamese value chain remains highly vulnerable to import/ export disruptions of fashion goods and materials. Moreover, with a competitive, nascent market for sustainable fashion, stakeholders struggle to move up the value chain and/or expand their markets. With pre and post-consumer waste as a major environmental and health concern, the fashion sector also finds itself unable to catch up and innovate in the downstream areas adequately.

    Hence, circular and upstream innovation for fashion (ie., renewable inputs, remake strategies, and rental/resale models) is the next frontier for Vietnamese fashion stakeholders to tackle the inevitable waste crisis in the country. By collaborating within their sector, firms will have the ability to innovate and acquire new revenue streams thanks to up-and-coming innovators and entrepreneurs.

    More research and development are needed with effective action plans for Vietnam’s transition towards circular fashion. Areas of research and action range from the vertical integration of the value chain with cost-effective transition technology, better recycling and sourcing standards, and end-of-life treatment of post-consumer waste. Similar to the Plastic sector, upstream innovation offers the ecosystem a fresh take on waste prevention thanks to renewable materials innovation and alternative business models in trading, wholesale, and retail.

    Most importantly, the report is a call for cross-sectoral collaboration where larger firms, small-to-medium enterprises along with their startup peers will benefit from working on locally-adapted and scalable innovations with universities, the non-profit sector, and funders.

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    Read and download the full report here:

    About the Author:

    The Ida C. & Morris Falk Foundation (ICM Falk Foundation) is a private, 501c3 family foundation that seeks to support innovation, entrepreneurship, and leadership that drives positive, equitable, and sustained impact for the world’s communities and ecosystems. Building on the global commitment to the Circular Economy, the Foundation is now actively focused on the design and development of innovative solutions that contribute to the reduction of waste and pollution within Asia.

    The Incubation Network
    Da Nang, Vietnam

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