16:00 - 16:45 GMT ON 13 NOV

DIF on AIR A new consumption model: the rise of fashion rental and recommerce

Stay tuned! This DIF on Air session will be available here at the time and date specified above.

  • Speakers:
  • Gwen Cunningham, Hélène Smits, John Atcheson, Jeff Denby, Samantha Blumenthal
  • Details About the session
  • Speakers Info about who's talking

A shift towards fast fashion in the past two decades has led to a dramatic decrease of the practical service life of clothes (how long they are worn) compared to their technical service life (how long they could be worn). Today, consumers buy 60% more and keep their clothes for half as long and a shocking ±70% of closets go unworn. Extending the active service life of garments is considered one of the most effective ways to reduce the overall impact of the clothing industry; by decreasing the need for production of new garments and reducing the growing volumes of textile waste that is generated every year.

“Switching Gear: Towards a Circular Business Model”, is a C&A Foundation supporte project, led by Circle Economy, that supports 4 apparel brands in the design and launch of rental and recommerce business model pilots by 2021.

In this session, we will be joined by three innovators from the Switching Gear Enabling Network (SGEN), including The Renewal Workshop and Stuffstr, who are already pioneering these alternative business models. SGEN is a global network of +50 circular solution providers, frontrunning brands and relevant experts, built in collaboration with Fashion for Good. Join us to explore how new circular business models are disrupting the norm and learn about the latest innovations in rental and recommerce and the opportunities and challenges that these new models present.


Gwen Cunningham

Gwen Cunningham

Circle Textiles Programme Lead, Circle Economy

Gwen leads Circle Economy’s Textiles Programme and is the Sustainability Coordinator at the Amsterdam Fashion Institute. In both roles, her focus is in the design and execution of cutting edge initiatives focused on increasing the circularity acumen of brands, educators and students. Gwen’s passion lies in developing new knowledge, tools and processes that can successfully guide organisations and individuals in transforming circular intent to action.

Hélène Smits

Hélène Smits

Circle Textiles Programme - Independent Associate

Hélène is a circular textiles expert, driven by the mission to develop new approaches that contribute to a circular, zero waste textile industry. In 2014 she founded the Circle Textiles Programme at Circle Economy and for the past 3 years has been working as an independent associate of the Circle Textiles Programme, leading on several key projects.

John Atcheson

John Atcheson

CEO Stuffstr

John Atcheson is Co-Founder/CEO of Stuffstr, a mission-driven startup that helps people recirculate everything they buy. Stuffstr is a member of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s Circular Economy 100, and has received awards from the World Economic Forum, Accenture and others for its innovative service and business model.

Prior to Stuffstr, John helped to launch Getaround, a pioneering leader in peer-to-peer car sharing, and served as Founder/CEO of several media-related startups, including MusicNet, the first interactive music service. John has also served as board chair of Sightline Institute, a leading sustainability think-tank based in Seattle.

Jeff Denby

Jeff Denby

Co-Founder The Renewal Workshop

Jeff is the co-Founder of The Renewal Workshop. His passion for sustainability in the apparel industry drove him to develop a new business model that diverts apparel bound for landfill to The Renewal Workshop facility where it can be renewed and enjoyed by consumers again.

Previously as the co-Founder of PACT, an award-winning organic apparel basics brand with retail partners such as Whole Foods and Nordstrom, Denby built a brand that differentiated itself from other apparel brands by manufacturing its garments in a transparent supply chain, improving the lives of cotton farmers and garment workers around the world.

While pursuing his MBA at the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley, Jeff worked on brand and sustainability programs for Gap, Jack Daniel’s, and eBay. Jeff graduated with First Class Honors from the University of Waterloo in Canada with a degree in Mechanical Engineering and holds an MBA from the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley. He lives in Oakland, California.

Samantha Blumenthal

Samantha Blumenthal

Senior Manager, Marketing Communications at ThredUp

Sam is the Senior Manager of Marketing Communications for thredUP, the world's largest resale platform. thredUP is on a mission to extend the life of every garment by inspiring a new generation to think secondhand first. After building a career in the fashion industry promoting luxury and contemporary brands, Sam realized she belonged in the tech world driving sustainable solutions. Today, she is excited to be part of a company that's innovating around fighting fashion waste.

Sam received her B.A. in English Literature and Art History from Rutgers University, and has lived in Brooklyn for nearly a decade with no plans of ever leaving. In her free time she loves wandering around the city, brainstorming business ideas, and ordering food for the table.


Sebastian Egerton-Read

Sebastian Egerton-Read

DIF Programme Manager and Social Media Manager

Seb is one of the two Ellen MacArthur Foundation's DIF Managers. He makes sure the DIF’s content reaches the right people on a global scale through resourceful and creative marketing. He also feeds into the DIF's long-term strategy. When Seb isn’t working on the DIF, he’s busy managing the Foundation’s social media accounts and producing regular content across platforms as well as writing for Circulate news.

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