The Evolution of Circular Fashion Brands: From Clean Planet to SIXR


In recent years, the fashion industry has undergone a huge shift towards balancing profit with circularity. One company that has been at the forefront of this movement is Clean Planet, founded by SIXR’s co-founders, Gagan Singh and Vijay Thomas.

Clean Planet's transformation from a dry cleaning business to Canada’s largest zero-waste medical gown manufacturer during COVID-19 inspired SIXR's key components, helping fashion brands build both profit and impact.

Discover our case study to explore Clean Planet’s lofty order, how it met and exceeded the odds, and the creation of SIXR through its revolutionary practices.

Creating a Circular Fashion Brand from the Ground Up 

Fashion brands that want to embrace circularity may have challenges ahead of them. There can be a general lack of interest in circularity because: 

  • The costs of processing recycled materials are high,
  • The quality of recycled materials can be less than virgin materials,
  • Sorting garments requires data recycling companies don’t have.

According to a recent study by the Havard Business Review, consumers often view “recycled textiles” as lacking in quality, expensive, and difficult to understand. However, if the fashion industry wants to embrace circularity and remain profitable, new solutions need to emerge. Enter Clean Planet.  

Clean Planet started during the start of COVID-19 when Gagan received an order of 2 million medical gowns from Canadian hospitals - gulp! Gagan knew he needed to create an efficient, effective, and economical company to fulfill this order. As an expert in fashion circularity, he didn’t want to create waste - he wanted to create impact. 

So, how did Clean Planet rise to the occasion, produce $10 million in revenue, and manufacture 3 million zero-waste medical gowns? The first solution was incentivizing positive behaviour.

Innovation and Incentives: 

One of the key innovations at Clean Planet was the introduction of incentives for workers. At the start, Gagan Singh noticed a lull in production. He knew he needed to motivate the workers if they were going to meet the order in a short time. That’s when he used his research as a Professor for Fashion Sustainability at George Brown College and his 15 years of experience in textile production to uncover a solution: Incentives. 

Gagan found that incentives work to drive people toward certain behaviours. Take recycling bottles and cans. There’s a 98% return rate of beer bottles to deposit programs in Ontario. Why? Because consumers receive financial incentives to recycle. Gagan introduced an incentivized rate per gown. Guess what this led to? 

  • The workers tripled their speed and production of medical gowns,
  • Worker satisfaction and involvement increased,
  • Workers made more than they could have imagined. 

Incentives drove Clean Planet to meet their order quota, helping them become a $10 million revenue company during COVID-19.

Incentivizing behaviour is a powerful tool that taps into human psychology. People are more likely to adopt certain practices if they are rewarded for doing so. With SIXR's technology, consumers are rewarded with credits that can be used with SIXR-partnered brands. The credits encourage consumers to recycle and return their clothes and create a sense of loyalty to your fashion brand. From Clean Planet’s success, SIXR’s incentive program was born.

How Zero-Waste Works for Circular Fashion Brands

At Clean Planet, Gagan Singh recognized the need for new manufacturing to achieve sustainability goals. The Cut Make Trim method in clothing manufacturing typically sees 10% go to waste. With Clean Planet’s original order, 600K of fabric could’ve ended up in landfills. To solve this, Gagan built partnerships with recycling companies to send waste back. This partnership proved effective in making Clean Planet a zero-waste company. 

Still, a gap was found. Clean Planet used partnerships with recycling companies to keep its manufacturing waste from landfills. However, what happens to the 3 million gowns after? How can we keep them from landfills when they’re so hard to track, trace, and return? (Textile-to-textile recycling is still less than 1%).

Clean Planet posed an important question that would spark SIXR. Clean Planet set the foundation for SIXR’s relationships with future recycling partners. Yet, creating a system that tracks where clothes end up and sorts data for recycling companies is critical. This would birth the core of SIXR: the scannable QR code attached to clothes. 

Clean Planet to SIXR, SIXR to Circular Fashion Brands


Clean Planet is a success story that surpassed expectations. They took an order of 2 million medical gowns and made it into 3 million zero-waste medical gowns. But still, how does one trace where they end up? That’s where SIXR’s QR codes can guide fashion brands towards circularity. When you attach SIXR QR codes to your garments, the item’s data on its material, life cycle, and recycling process can easily be accessed by the consumer. Making recycling a transparent and rewarding experience. 

After COVID-19 ended, hospitals decided to go back to their regular supply chain of medical gowns. The orders for Clean Planet stopped, but three key lessons kept growing:

- Incentivizing positive behaviour,

- Bridging the gap between recycling companies and the consumers,

- Making clothes traceable to keep them from landfills. 

If the fashion industry wants to lessen its waste, it needs to become more circular. Net-zero goals from the Paris Agreement are now creating tax burdens on fashion brands that do not adopt circular practices. By partnering with SIXR, brands can not only reduce their carbon footprint but also become leaders for circular fashion brands to follow. 

How SIXR Can Help Your Brand Become Circular  

The story of Clean Planet's evolution into SIXR is about reframing sustainable fashion to circular fashion. Brands need to fulfill their orders, build revenue, and also commit to being zero-waste. Through the lessons Gagan Singh, Vijay Thomas, and the employees of Clean Planet took, SIXR was born.

Clean Planet’s vision does not end after COVID-19. Now we are ready for all types of fashion brands to reap the benefits we discovered. If you are ready to take the leap to becoming more circular, book a demo meeting with us today.

Together we can make circularity the stylish choice, one QR code at a time.