Case studies ///

adidas dominates circularity in the sportswear market /

“Thanks to the QSA team for being such great challengers, lifting us to the next level!”

David Quass, Global Director Brand Sustainability Strategy | Eco Innovation | Circular

Adidas wanted to understand and develop the potential for circular business models. We started working with adidas in 2018 as part of our work with Laudes Foundation – Circular Fashion Fast Forward project – we accelerated their knowledge of business models, internal and external factors to consider for different models and levers to test.

We helped adidas test the resale market and helped define project parameters using our 7Cs process of how to implement a model. Vitally we gave adidas the confidence to test models that may not go through to full launch but were used to test specific elements. The Infinite Play test project was launched in late 2019 across the UK.

adidas are now flying and have integrated sustainability and circular business models into the heart of their growth strategy ‘Own the Game’ and have launched adidas rental as well as redefining their made to be remade range.

Want to understand more about this work and how we can support your work on circular business models?

FARFETCH leads circular business models in luxury fashion /

“Working with QSA has provided expertise and rigour – some fantastic technical research and expertise on the major business levers and impact assessment”

Tom Berry, Global Director of Sustainable Business, FARFETCH

FARFETCH is a leading global fashion platform that wanted to implement circular business models. QSA helped to identify the best target markets, propositions and commercial case for testing out buy-back and trade-in business models. Our project was funded by the Laudes Foundation and delivered in partnership with ReLondon.

FARFETCH launched its Second Life buy-back business model in Europe in 2018 and has now rolled it out in its US market. In parallel, it also launched a trade-in business model called Donate with Thrift+ in the UK.

FARFETCH also wanted to understand the environmental impacts of these business models in more detail and asked us to find evidence of this – we delivered international consumer research in partnership with Icaro Consulting that showed around 6 out of 10 purchases of pre-loved clothing delay or prevent the customer from buying a new garment. This meant that FARFETCH’s new business models were delivering a significant impact. As a result, FARFETCH published its research and developed an online tool to help customers understand the impact of their conscious purchases.

To learn more about this project and how we can help you:

HS1 creates industry leading sustainability strategy /

  “At HS1 Ltd we want to be a trailblazer and help drive sustainability across our industry. QSA Partners have provided expertise and guidance to enable us to see sustainability through the lenses of different areas of the company and identify a clear joined-up strategy. We are pleased to start the next phase of work with QSA Partners where we will be implementing our roadmap through collective action with our key stakeholders.”

Richard Thorp, Engineering Director at HS1

HS1 asked us to develop an industry leading sustainability strategy and roadmap that focused on priority areas. The strategy was launched by the Minister for Transport in October 2020.

With environmental and social sustainability critical to the future success of their business, HS1 Ltd.’s scope was ambitious, and they endeavour to protect and reduce their impacts on the natural environment and in their local communities. Their core value of ‘punching above their weight’ was integrated across all key areas including:

– Transparency
– Climate Change
– Energy use
– Resource & waste
– Social impacts
– Biodiversity

We engaged with staff; senior leadership and clients and partners to develop a vision, strategy and ambitious targets that have been incredibly well received by industry.

We continue to work with HS1 on a range of projects including their attendance at COP26 in November 2021. 

To learn more about this project and how we can help you:

Bandvulc – service & financial success/

“QSA were great to have onside as a fresh pair of expert eyes to help us with the business model, market research and financials’. ‘We would recommend companies talking to these experts and also talk to your customers.”

Richard O’Connell Director

Bandvulc wanted to develop their tyre retreading business to insulate against competition and prices. We helped them develop their tyre management service which now covers over 70% of the UK’s supermarkets articulated truck fleet.

QSA helped develop a business and financial model for a new re-tread tyre for vans: the “Vanvulc tyre” for delivery vans and a sale of service management service. We ran cross-departmental innovation sessions to gain ideas and join people together, developed specific market insight research and created the business financial modelling to take the business to pilot. This has led to new Vanvulc tyre sales of over £4m, with a 30% sales growth forecast and substantial material and carbon savings.

Bandvulc successful grew their market share and now are part of the Continental Group. A re-treaded Bandvulc tyre is fitted every 2 and half minutes across Europe.

The UK fashion and textiles industry unites to tackle the potential costly impacts of future Producer Responsibility /

The UK fashion and textiles industry wants to understand how it can lay the ground for a new extended producer responsibility (EPR) system. Such a system can incentivise all supply chain participants to prioritise the reuse, refurbishment, and resale of clothes and other textile products, promoting a circular economy.

We’ve created a project with the UK Fashion and Textile Association, the British Fashion Council, the University of Exeter, and support from the British Retail Consortium which highlights the collective commitment to addressing the future impacts of the fashion industry and driving positive change.

We will deliver a new ‘data sandbox’ for the UK fashion and textiles sector which will serve as a platform for data sharing, analysis, and innovation, allowing stakeholders to explore and experiment with circular economy principles across the supply chains. By leveraging data and insights, the industry can identify opportunities for improvement, track progress, and make informed decisions to drive sustainable practices.

Funded by Innovate UK’s ‘Circular Economy for SMEs’ initiative, our aim is to create a market-based EPR system that is dynamic, flexible and adapts to the emergence of new technologies, retail systems and consumer behaviour while enabling a step-change in the adoption of circular approaches.

If you are a brand, retailer, platform or any other producer of garments and want to find out how to participate in the project, please contact us.

Adam Mansell, Chief Executive of UKFT, and chairperson for the project, highlights that

  “a future EPR system must accommodate all supply chain players that we have in abundance in the UK. To have a system that can bring all these players together and make positive and proactive improvements to the UK economy is paramount”


Caroline Rush CBE, the Chief Executive of British Fashion Council outlines

  “The British fashion industry represents significant creative depth and reach in the UK and globally. We have an opportunity to develop an EPR system for fashion and textiles which focuses on maintaining value and longevity of garments to achieve a circular fashion ecosystem through reuse, refurbishment, and resale of products. An industry-led initiative like this has a chance to become an exemplar for others to follow”


Old cottons give life to new products /

Cotton Council International & Cotton Incorporated wanted to investigate the opportunity to launch a sister programme for Blue Jeans Go Green™ denim recycling program in Europe.

QSA’s development of the Cotton Lives On™ recycling program in collaboration with Cotton Council International and Cotton Incorporated demonstrates a commendable effort to promote sustainability and circularity in the fashion industry. By bringing together various fashion brands and retailers, as well as organizations like LMB Textile Recyclers, luxury bed manufacturer Naturalmat, charities including Shelter, Refuweegee, and Single Homeless Project, we have led a collaborative approach to cotton recycling, and addressing social and environmental challenges.

The Cotton Lives On™ recycling programme focuses on repurposing and recycling cotton textiles, which is a crucial step towards reducing waste and promoting a circular economy. By diverting cotton products from landfills and extending their lifespan through recycling, this contributes to resource conservation and minimises the environmental impact of the fashion industry.

The inclusion of fashion brands and retailers demonstrates their commitment to sustainable practices and responsible product lifecycle management. By participating in this programme, they are actively contributing to the development of a more circular textile industry.

Furthermore, donating the new end products to Shelter, Refuweegee, and Single Homeless Project highlights the social aspect of the initiative. By repurposing and recycling cotton textiles, the program potentially benefits vulnerable communities and alleviate sleep poverty.

Do you have old cottons and want to see your donated items turning into new products?

The power of secondhand – how resale slows consumption /

Depop wanted to understand the impact of buying second hand on reducing the consumption of new fashion items and its contribution to sustainability.

By analysing data from over 5,500 Depop users across the UK, US, and Australia, our research demonstrates that 9 out of 10 purchases made on Depop prevented the purchase of a new item elsewhere. Our findings highlights the significant role that resale platforms like Depop play in reducing the demand for new fashion products.

The co-authored report, “The power of secondhand: How Resale Slows Consumption,” sheds light on the positive environmental impact of buying second hand. It provides evidence that Depop is effective in slowing down the consumption of new fashion items.

The displacement methodology developed by QSA, previously employed in partnership with Farfetch in 2019 and Vestiaire Collective in 2023, is a valuable tool for understanding the influence of second-hand purchases on consumer behavior. By examining how second-hand purchases displace the demand for new items, this methodology helps the fashion sector gain crucial data to better comprehend the role of the second-hand market in driving sustainable change.

Cathy Moscardini, Sustainability Manager at Depop said,

“The QSA displacement research is a game-changer for us. Not only has it enabled us to evidence the shift in consumer behaviour we are facilitating through our platform; it’s also bringing visibility to how we compare to the rest of the market.’”

Are you interested in exploring your impact?

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Jennifer Decker/

I enable businesses to reduce their business and product impacts from setting out a sustainability strategy to supporting the delivery of circular business models. Businesses I have supported include High Speed 1 Ltd, Cotton Incorporated, Argent, Heathrow Expansion, Northern Trust Bank, EDF New Nuclear Build, EY, Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Defence.

I specialise on working within an organisation which has included my tenure as sustainability specialist at EDF New Nuclear Build and at WRAP developing their Textiles 2030 agreement and produced their 2030 circular textiles pathway working with the major retailers, reuse & recycling businesses and charities.

Prior to QSA, I was an associate director at Mace Group where I enabled built environment clients to deliver their carbon reduction programmes and sustainable construction strategies by setting measurable KPIs and targets; creating tools to monitor; embed performance standards in procurement and communication.

Previously, I led the Sustainable Clothing Action Plan at WRAP setting the 2020 targets, strategy and implementation for the UK clothing industry.

Kristina Bull /

I led our project with Laudes Foundation and ReLondon on the Circular Fashion Fast Forward project that saw us develop circular models with adidas; FW and Farfetch as well as lay the foundations for Ted Baker’s work in this area.

I am leading the development of a fibre specific recycling programme within Europe which will be launched in early 2022.

I am an apparel durability expert with track record of change implementation at Whistles, ASOS, COS and worked with WRAP and John Lewis to produce a durability and quality guide for brands.

I have advised low carbon, resource efficiency and sustainability strategy development at Heathrow and High Speed 1 Ltd, and continue to lead the support work for HS1 through to their participation at COP26 in November 2021.

Before QSA at WRAP I delivered the market engagement and recruitment drive for the WRAP Halving Waste to Landfill agreement in the built environment sector.

Gerrard Fisher /

I have a strong track record in sustainability with a wide range of clients. My original background is in process and chemical engineering so I’ve been in to process and resource efficiency since graduating a long time ago!

I’ve supported circular business model transformation in companies such as adidas, Argos, ASOS, B&Q (Kingfisher), FARFETCH, FW, Samsung, MuJo Fitness and more: I led a team that created WRAP’s original circular business model project called REBus.

I have extensive experience working with electrical and electronic products, and I worked with many major global brands on improving design for durabiltiy and repairabilitly. Examples of projects I led include:

  • Groundbreaking research into the nature of mercury hazards in flat-panel TVs (leading to industry voluntary labelling)
  • Creation of design guides for retail buyers so they could improve the durability (and reduce warranty costs) of their own-brand products.
  • Delivery of communication campaigns that increased e-waste recycling collections by over 40% in target areas.

Through my past work at WRAP and beyond, I’ve also advised a range of governmental and NGO organisations on resource efficiency, ecodesign and circular economy including Defra, BEIS, Zero Waste Scotland, ReLondon and Oxfordshire County Council. I provide technical advisory and independent expert advice to UKRI, the European Commission, the US Government’s Department of Energy.

I get a kick out of helping businesses understand and meet their customers’ needs better - whether that’s through better business models, better product design or better communication and transparency.

This has also led me to take an interest in privacy and data management - which can be a big barrier to people reusing and recycling some of their old electrical stuff. As a result, I set up a business called Astrid to provide cost-effective privacy advice to small businesses so they can better protect their customer information.

Mark Hodgson /

I specialise in the innovation and proposition development of new customer orientated, commercially driven circular and sharing business models to market. I have a particular experience of working on circular models with sectors that are impacted by the change in lifestyles, consumption, digital mobility, electric infrastructure and NetZero, have on place. Examples range from retail; IKEA, adidas, B&Q, ASOS, FarFetch, developers and OEM’s; Landsec & Samsung, mobility; Riversimple, HS1 & Co Cars and authorities; Oxford County Council and Exeter Velocities/Exeter City Council. Across all of these, I have helped deliver the propositions, services, operations and infrastructure to enable deployment.

As a founder and ex-director of a multi-modal shared e-mobility provider of EV cars, e-bikes and e-cargo bikes, I have first-hand experience of the impact and change these business models can have on people and place, through working with clients, local authorities and housing developers.

I understand what processes and techniques to apply, how to encourage growth and change mindsets, and how to build a customer-focused, commercially viable business model that delivers circular and environmental benefits. My background is business development, technology and markets having worked for international companies to local SMEs. I've worked in a wide range of projects from global business propositions, sales as a service, sharing and circular business models, ‘low carbon’ LEP economic strategies, climate change adaptation, renewable energy, clean tech sector development and public sector partnerships to technical research, international development and project delivery management.

Being a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and geographer at heart I've worked on sustainable development projects and film productions in locations in Africa, Asia and Europe.