Episode 72 Gavin Fernie-Jones is repurposing outdoor gear, One Tree at a Time

Circular Economy Podcast Ep72 Gavin Fernie-Jones One Tree at a Time

Gavin Fernie-Jones is building an amazing social enterprise to create a circular economy for outdoor gear and ski-wear.

Living in the Alps, Gavin has seen for himself the impact global warming has had in the mountains he calls home. He’s always loved the outdoors, having grown up living in an outdoor centre, but it was while running his bootfitting business The Boot Lab that he realised the impact his business was having on the environment.

Gavin started making small changes to the way that business operated, and seeing the results of this inspired him to start a social enterprise called One Tree at a Time

One Tree at a Time is embedding circular approaches to change behaviours, build community and protect the mountain environment. The One Tree team has tapped into some surprising sources of  ‘waste’ to create value for local people and help build and strengthen local connections. On top of that, One Tree at a Time supports businesses and individuals to change behaviour and protect their mountain environment.

Podcast host Catherine Weetman is a circular economy business advisor, workshop facilitator, speaker and writer.  Her award-winning book: A Circular Economy Handbook: How to Build a More Resilient, Competitive and Sustainable Business includes lots of practical examples and tips on getting started.  Catherine founded Rethink Global in 2013, to help businesses use circular, sustainable approaches to build a better business (and a better world).

Stay in touch for free insights and updates…

Read on for a summary of the podcast and links to the people, organisations and other resources we mention.

You can subscribe to the podcast series on iTunes, Google Podcasts, PlayerFM, Spotify, TuneIn, or search for “circular economy” in your favourite podcast app.  Stay in touch to get free insights and updates, direct to your inbox…

Don’t forget, you can use our interactive, searchable podcast index to find episodes by sector, by region or by circular strategy. Plus, there is now a regular Circular Economy Podcast newsletter, so you get the latest episode show notes, links and transcript delivered to your inbox on Sunday morning, each fortnight. The newsletter includes a link to the episode page on our website, with an audio player. You can subscribe by clicking this link to update your preferences.

Links we mention in the episode:

About Gavin Fernie-Jones

Living in the Alps, Gavin’s watched at first-hand the impact global warming has had in the mountains he calls home. He’s always loved the outdoors, having grown up living in an outdoor centre, but it was while running his bootfitting business The Boot Lab that he realised the impact his business was having on the environment. Inspired to act, Gavin started implementing small changes in the way their business operated, and it was this action that led to him founding social enterprise One Tree at a Time in 2019. 

Adopting a circular economic model and through the creation of a connected community, One Tree supports businesses and individuals to change behaviour and protect their mountain environment.

Interview Transcript

Provided by AI

Catherine Weetman 

So, Gavin, welcome to the Circular Economy Podcast.

Gavin Fernie Jones 

Hi, Catherine. Thanks for having us on.

Catherine Weetman 

Yeah. And you’re talking to us today from Courchevel in the French Alps. And hopefully you’ve got nice autumn weather like we have in the UK. But can you start off by telling us a bit about one tree at a time? When did it start? How did you get it going? What’s it all about?

Gavin Fernie Jones 

Yeah, cool. So one two at a time is an environmental not for profit that we’ve set up operating in such operates in a small village called Bozel, which is just on the doorstep of the Trois Valley, the biggest ski resort in the world. And we we sort of noticed a few years ago that had a hell of a lot of waste in our industry. So very wasteful, sports getting a lot, a lot of excess, especially in a result that cause Chevelle. And we started to work with local businesses and local community to see how we could help them to manage this waste and also cut waste out their, their revenue streams. So we activated a pledge system to start with, and then that’s evolved from there on until we now own a community space, which is really focused on circular models and recycling and repurposing ski gear.

Catherine Weetman 

And when we’re talking about waste, that’s primarily what you’re focused on, isn’t that the ski gear, and particularly some of the ski gear that comes from the instructors who are quite often given, you know, lots of nice new kit every season. So tell us a bit more about the kind of things that that come in, as, you know, waste in one sense, but still got plenty of life in them.

Gavin Fernie Jones 

Yeah, sure. It’s what a waste of this product is almost a strange term to me because it shouldn’t be waste. Because it’s a really hard wearing well made fabric. In general, this used in ski gear we do, we do ski gear, but we also do ski equipment, so ski boots, and skis again, even even harder hardware materials and a lot of value in them. And currently, this product is just it’s getting chucked into landfill, or it’s getting sent abroad to be incinerated and burnt. And we just have a huge, huge excess of it in not just our community, but across the outdoor industry. And we found this out firstly by running it fix it day, up in resort. So I actually have another business which is a ski boot fitters, and we decided that we would run a day outside that store and sell gear, to fund tree planting, and sell secondhand gear. And we do fix and repair in a bit like the the pattern of Patagonia born wet or I’m sure you’ve heard some similar idea to that. We actually did it on the first Brexit day, which was never actually Brexit. It was one of many. And we sort of did it in our local resort because we want to do summit positive on that day. There wasn’t going to be loads of guests in the resort because people for flights wouldn’t want to fly in so people didn’t come out. So we did this day. And we just got swamped with clothing. We couldn’t believe it. We sold this clothing and we used all the funds to plant trees we actually raised 9000 euros on the day which sort of says two things says our community is really given an instant interested in the subject but also that our community has far too much clothing and far too much product. And then from there, we just carried on forward really and we sort of noticed that there was a locket coming from ski instructors and and sort of sponsored athletes and professionals. So I think a purpose for a sponsored athlete, for example is to wear that seasons clothing, last season’s ski gear, to promote it in videos and photos. And then for that company to be able to sell more that product. It’s kind of almost the same for ski school. brands want the ski schools to be skiing in the latest kit. And for them their customers to see for example, as an instructor might be skin and North Face jacket and their customer then like Hawaii, the ski school customers might go and buy a north face jacket. And so these type of people have a lot of lot of excess. I mean it’s not it’s not just because the brands are demanding that they wear a different colour each year. The brands are, you know they the SKU scores aren’t necessarily the problem but they have a problem in the fact that the brands make a new Colour each year. So you won’t get the same, say in our uniforms blue, they won’t get a blue the following year. So if an item is damaged by one ski instructor, they can’t replace that blue garment easily. And then ski instructors do 120 days on a mountain, it’s not sunny all the time, it does rain more often now than it used to. So they do need a product that’s going to be safe to use on a mountain landscape when leading groups. But that doesn’t mean that that product isn’t still have real value to somebody else. So we found that for me, for example, I work alone resort, LM skis much they used to. And if it’s raining, I probably wouldn’t go skiing. So a garment like that, for me, is perfect, because I would go out skiing in the sunshine, for example. And if it’s lost a little bit of its waterproofness, I can reward with it. But if it’s lost a little bit, its performance. It’s not, it’s not the end of the world. So we found an avenue for collecting gear, and it came from sort of schemes, doctors and professionals. When this stuff comes to us, though, it’s logoed up. So it’s carrying the ski schools logo. And the ski school has a problem then because they don’t want that garment on the mountain. Because someone might not ski very well when that garment they might be doing some dangerous. And so what we started to do is patch over these these logos, rewards proof the garment on the inside, so that we would be waterproof stitching, and then sell it to fund our community space that we were running.

Gavin Fernie Jones 

And then it just kept exploding. From there. We’ve now received loads and loads of garments from different types of companies, and other ski instructors. We get them from Challis companies. An example another one that just received recently is fleeces that were made for Shell a company, the shell companies have these pieces made and loaded up. And they’re quite a high end Charlie Company A nice fleeces don’t have very high end, like it’s bad ordering. It’s not the right product for them. So these places weren’t really worn by their staff. So we’ve got box boxes, logo fleeces, they’ve been sat in store rooms now for five years longer. And we’ve taken those we’ve patched over them, we’ve donated, about half of them towards refugee charities that are operating around here in the French Alps has a really good organisation called riders for refugees that is collecting on winter clothing. So we donated a substantial amount to those. And then we loaded up the rest of them resell them for your store.

Catherine Weetman 

So there’s a strong element of trust isn’t there between the donators and you they, they need to know that you are going to remove their logo and you know that they’re not going to either lose their reputation because somebody is, you know, not adhering to their brand values in in the logo clothing or, or worse, that they’re breaking some terms of the clothing company that’s given them the kit in the first place. So that’s, that’s important. So there’s the the, the native clothing, and then also, I think you do, you’re working on repairs as well with repair services and repair classes.

Gavin Fernie Jones 

Yeah, so we’ve been using the funds and reinvest them straight back in our community. So any money that’s been raised? Well, a portion still goes to tree planting, which we do for an organisation called trees for the future. I don’t know if you’ve heard of them, but they are cited by the UN as the perfect way we should plant trees. They, they create these forest gardens in Africa. So they work with a community for four years to take a sort of monocrop parcel of land and turn it into a land that has trees, but also they can grow and grow crops on they increase their yield by about 400% in four years. So that’s what we used to do tree planting. So like the rest of the money we use to invest straight back into the community. So we’ve got some community also machines in the space. We want what we run workshops, the workshops or pays you for your workshops. So, you know, if you can’t afford to pay for the workshop, that’s not a problem. If you can’t afford to, then that’s great that can keep going back into the kitty. And we’ve actually now been able to employ free or four different seamstresses now, on part time, well, some of them working nearly full time at the minute but sort of part time full time. Repairing clothing, yeah, like you say, we we used to actually have in the very village that we’re operating in opposite us we have a seamstress. I don’t know how long she’d been there for years, but she closed down two years ago. Just because he wasn’t making enough money to operate. So we’ve kind of filled that void a little bit as well. So We’re able to was kind of able to use the funds that were receiving from the businesses from the local community to plough back into the community and provide services that they needed on a high street. Really?

Catherine Weetman 

Hmm, that sounds good. And maybe I could post you one. I’ve got a zip repair to do. And I thought it was going to be easy. And it looks like the a, you know, it’s a sweater. And it looks like the bottom of the zip is kind of glued into the sweater somehow. So yeah, look where that one

Gavin Fernie Jones 

is, it repairs. Interesting, when you talk about repairing there, when we’re looking to repair and zip from a circular aspect, what we do is we, we take it out of another item McLovin. So some of those, I it comes back to the instructor uniforms, when we’re patching over the instructor uniforms, we’ll take one of the uniforms and use that to create the patches. So that we’re not creating, we’re not using any more fabric, we’re not using any more materials, the same if we’re replacing a zip or then take the zip part of that jacket that we’ve cut up for action, and we’ll use that zip in it in a repair. And we’ve kind of found that because I think if you went to a repair shop your your automatic responses to buy the velcro as a repair shop, what’s a buy in a zip so that the citizens go in it is brand new, but our response is to just use all the materials we have in our community. Yeah. And use them to fix and repair stuff. And it works fine. The customers don’t mind at all.

Catherine Weetman 

Hmm, that sounds sounds like a good policy. And I think you’ve also mentioned that you help children who are kind of, you know, growing rapidly and burning through their outdoor clothing at a rate or not. So you’ve got a swap rail.

Gavin Fernie Jones 

Yeah, outside front of star without swap rail is one of my favourite parts of the sort of space because it kind of just changes weekly, I have very little interaction with it, because I’ll be working inside the shop space. And it’s literally swap or take something off, they don’t have to swap, you just take some if you need it. And that sort of just changes regularly. There’s some amazing bits and pieces on there. And it’s kind of important again, here because we ski for five months a year. As a child, when you get to ski in seven months time, there’s a big chance that you’re not going to fit that ski boot or that bit of outerwear. So it’s just a way of trying to help our community to share I mean, that this kind of thing is done on groups on Facebook and stuff, but it does it it does seem to work a little bit better. He’s got a physical space where people can just come and easily collect and drop off just by providing that service it seems to make the whole thing a little bit smoother.

Catherine Weetman 

Yeah. And I think it’s less you know, that the whole thing around reuse the can still be a little bit of a stigma around it. And yeah, I think kind of having things set out on a on a rail just as they would be if they were new, that sort of normalises it doesn’t it rather than having to make a special trip to somebody’s house and then be be perhaps embarrassed if you know, either it doesn’t quite fit or, you know, you thought it was going to be in really good neck and actually it’s you know, it’s not as described and when you’ve had to go personally and collect that thing. The whole exchange can become a bit awkward sometimes.

Gavin Fernie Jones 

Yeah, no, I totally agree. I definitely agree. And that’s we’ve actually focused on that a bit when we set the shop space up. So I’d say eight times out of 10 When people walk in they have no idea that it’s secondhand. So like for example some of those ski jackets were received from ski schools access stocks and never ever been skied in so they’ve got tags on when you walk in we’ve made sure that display everything can be done and put everything out in the racks in it in the sense that you wouldn’t sort of in a normal shop so we’re kind of making sure the products look really smart and and now it’s gone a long way to to helping people make that decision to buy secondhand I think because it doesn’t really smart it looks clean it looks like you’re buying a new product you haven’t you haven’t exactly the same shopping experience, as you would do say if he walked into Primark but on top of that, you shouldn’t be feeling any guilt really?

Catherine Weetman 

Yeah, and maybe just the opposite. So what what kind of reactions are you getting from people? Have you had lots of repeat customers and what kinds of things are they saying?

Gavin Fernie Jones 

Yeah, loads of repeat customers. It’s really nice in the store because it’s it’s been operating all the way through lockdown and COVID and I’ve got a lot of older French people in the village pop in and discuss secondhand buy secondhand, the French as a society. They tend to buy new and look for really, really well made So you’ll often see if you’re on the ski hill here, and there’s someone skiing in 80s, one piece ski Sue, there’ll be French, probably the majority of times, there’s someone skating this season’s gear, there’ll be English, or American, and that and that says different sort of culture. So, amongst the French, it’s taken a little bit of time for them to click on to the fact that they can get quality secondhand. And that they tend to tend to buy and keep for like, a long, long time.

Catherine Weetman 

But that’s what we want people to do anyway, isn’t it? Yeah, it’s really interesting that different culture, though, it’d be it’d be really interesting to unpick what the you know, is that a values driven thing? Is it just the perception that if you’re going to be passionate about a pastime or something, you should invest in really good quality gear, and then you kind of become emotionally attached to it. It just be interesting to know more about this.

Gavin Fernie Jones 

I would think there’s an aspect aspect of marketing and advertisement involved in that, and whether we have the same level of marketing and PR, we probably do now. But whether there’s been the same level of marketing advertising within the French humanities, in the same way as had been in the UK. I think that play into I mean, the French had taken, taken a lot of interest in secular models, even at a governmental level. Yeah, about like assistants Bureau, sort of running for like two years has been about 200 people have been selected at random. And they’ve been able to put policies forward to the government set ones like, we’re now no longer allowed to have outdoor heaters, and environmental ones been pushed through. But on a circular sort of shopping, sort of laws that are coming in. This January, still at checkout is definitely happening. But we last two years ago in France, he no longer allowed to dispose or incinerates new clothing. So that happens all around the world. When brand brands have excess stock, and they don’t want to flood the market with this excess stock, they either burn it or dispose it in landfill. You can no longer do that in France and then this year, in the US don’t use just an outdoor Well, I think it’s an all retail when you retail the product, when you sell a product, you own that product end of life. So you need to find a solution. And of life as a brand. As a manufacturer or as a distributor, you need to go and find the solution for our products. But that might be like working with a brand like an organisation like ours, for example, it might be retrieving that material and sending it back somewhere to be recycled and remade into another garden. But yeah, the friendship definitely

Catherine Weetman 

sounds really powerful. It’s a big game changer.

Gavin Fernie Jones 

My understanding of that as well was that when I spoke to the outdoor industry, they thought this would be a really difficult sort of idea to push through. But the outdoor industry has got to know we need this because we need the environments continue.

Catherine Weetman 

Right? Yeah, yeah. Yeah, of course, is that there’s much more of a linkage there in people’s minds, isn’t there about, you know, it’s great to have all this, this new stuff. But there’s a big cost, and that’s going to undermine sort of a whole business and reason for being. So Gavin, over the time that you’ve been developing one tree at a time. What have you struggled with?

Gavin Fernie Jones 

was thinking about this last couple of weeks? And it’s difficult question, but what, what we kind of do when it item comes into the shop is we measure it in its material value. So when it comes into community space, from from the very start I have, I’m fought about profit or margins, or what money we need to make to keep up and what I’ve thought about is what is the best solution for that material. And so I feel like we kind of operate in a different system, but within the current capitalist system, and that makes things slightly more tricky, because ultimately, we’ve still got about to fund the space. So government might come in, and we might decide that, actually, that government is going to get the most use, if we donate it, if we patch that Lego and we donate it to a charity, and they’re going to take people in outdoors, for example, that might be the best solution for that Garmin. That’s not gonna make us any money along the way. But, in fact, if we’re employing some patch, it’s going to cost us but we’re using some of our community’s money to then go and help another community and it just is kind of different way of looking at a business. And when you’re trying to walk right like that, in a system that is all about profit. It’s quite difficult and the only difficulty is is that I’ve worked on this for nearly three years now. I’ve never paid myself a penny, yet, I’m not being paid at all other people are, like I said, the people who did the fixing, we employed someone to work in the store this summer. So people have been paid for without my time, and I am in a fortunate position to be able to get that time. If I hadn’t been able to give that we wouldn’t be where we are.

Catherine Weetman 

And I guess as part of these new extended producer responsibility laws that you were talking about earlier, then there might be a way to get the companies that are able to comply with those regulations by donating things to you to pay as well, because they would have had to pay to send it to landfill or incineration. So so maybe maybe those are the kind of regulations that will start to level the playing field and create more of an income for finding ways to get, you know, get another life for every every product that comes onto the market.

Gavin Fernie Jones 

Yeah, that’s true that that is an avenue that we already do have some support from from a couple of brands. And that this is maybe like more of a question you gave him. But my, as I’m getting further further for this project, what I’m realising and I didn’t notice before was contrived is that reuse is just the most important part of this process. And we already have enough product that to reuse, we’ve got an entire store full of amazing looking products that we do sell for a reduced price, but we’re selling for 150 200 years, we’re not we’re not doing this cheaply, we’re using the money to go back into the community. And we have all this material and fabric in our space. So I don’t want to become an organisation that allows brands to continue making stuff because we’re the solution. At the end of that I don’t have a sticking plaster actually, I feel like this is what’s kind of dawning on men is something that we started to do a little bit more now, which is create a sort of second hand brand to give your products a bit more of a and appeal to people. But we just have enough product. So I don’t want to end up in I don’t know, you obviously, you know, so much more about me than me about the circular economy. You studied it, I read it a lot more. And I’ve approached this very much from a point of just reading about stuff on the internet and trying to put stuff into into action. And what’s your what’s your feeling on that? It just you just, we just have enough kit?

Catherine Weetman 

Yeah, no, I think I think you’re absolutely right. And you posted something on LinkedIn the other day, that probably need to go back to because there was a really fantastic phrase about you know, we’ve already got enough outdoor stuff in in the world. So I think, you know, that reuse is really important. But so also is the French philosophy that you described of buying stuff that’s going to last in the first place, you know, every time something has to be passed on to be reused. You know, there’s, there’s another transaction taking place. I guess there’s a risk of a little bit less emotional attachment to the garment because you know, he didn’t spend time researching what you were going to buy or whatever it was. So making things that that do last for longer and I guess it comes back to you know, the the root of the problem Is what you said at the beginning about the brands introducing new colours every year. So that it’s obvious whether this is this year’s clothing or not. It’s dawning on me that we all have to be part of the solution, we have to be creating the market for these products that lasts longer. We have to be making a fuss when something isn’t repairable or does not last as long as it could have done and making it really clear to the brands that this isn’t what we want. You know, we’ve we’ve got to we’ve got to be able to push the the supertanker a bit and turn it in the right direction. So I don’t know. I don’t know what you think about that.

Gavin Fernie Jones 

Yeah, I think that’s really interested in that because it just makes me really like owning all that stuff. All the things you described, as well as hassle, like, any more stuff is more hassle, having a washing machine that breaks every five years more hassle, but none of it is any better for me like none of it’s adding value to my life. Like if I have to. I don’t know, if I found that a ski school and I’ve got to change my uniform every two years because the brand is what is costing me money. It’s costing me needless expenses that I just wouldn’t need to make if you were keeping the same product. Or I could send that product back and get it rewards for it. For example, I could get it service. And yeah, I just don’t want us to become that sort of social enterprise nonprofit that helps plaster over the cracks. I think that’s really important. And so I do want to take uniform and repurpose as much material and much fabric as I can but also and this is what I’d said on that thread is we have enough product in our community is just in the wrong wardrobes. Like that’s the honest truth is in the wrong wardrobes in the wrong store room. Like so we need the community where we can share that stuff. Where we can fix that stuff where we don’t need to keep adding to that stuff.

Catherine Weetman 

Yeah, absolutely right. And this is the thing, isn’t it? If if stuffs designed to last in the first place, then all of that reuse and repair becomes easier and easier. Because people know that you know well this might have a zip might not work properly now, but now I can get that fixed. And so you’re not going to be put off having something that’s that’s secondhand

Gavin Fernie Jones 

with, I think before it as well as skier because it is built to last like his, he couldn’t make a really out piece of ski gear because like he wouldn’t quite, I wouldn’t hold up to the weather and stuff. So it is kind of better made than you might think. So that plays into our hands a little bit, when we get that material, it’s of a better quality that we can repair it and resell it for a value that helps support us. You know, if we were receiving one euro, polyester T shirts, I have no solution to that. I can’t sell it to someone else for a Euro I can’t, you know, doesn’t even as the no one that really wants that product. It’s kind of finished.

Catherine Weetman 

Yeah. So if you were talking to somebody else, you know, reflecting back on your three years of getting this going and thinking about what works and what doesn’t work and trying to work within the capitalist system, whilst rejecting quite a few of those capitalist values. What lessons learned, would you share with somebody else thinking of taking their business in a more circular direction?

Gavin Fernie Jones 

Um, I think that, I think Parliament said a lot, the first step is probably the hardest. And once you you make that step to try to change your business or move in a different direction, the other bits soon start to fall into place. I think if you set yourself a very clear, clear set of values to begin with, like my, one of my clear clear values at the store is that we don’t create anything as in, we could have, it would have been a lot easier for us to order up logoed badges with one tree written on it, they would be made out of nylon and my from the very start was I we’re not doing that, because that’s going to be on the planet long after I am. And that that’s not not wrong to do. So we’re clear values and the stars, we don’t create anything, like, we just have to use what’s already within our store. And then that helps feed into ideas, it helps people are working with the organisation understand exactly what we’re trying to achieve. And then they go looking for solutions. And they come back, you know, the seamstresses, the people that I’m working with, we will bounce ideas around and loads of different solutions come back with, we’re now starting to manufacture some product products in our community. And so I think if you make the first step, which is seems like it’s hard, but once you’ve done it, you’re on that way, you’ve committed to something, you can’t really go back and your commitment. And then just draw up a really good set of values. Everyone who it works with you or interacts with organisation has a clear understanding of what you’re trying to

Catherine Weetman 

achieve. Yeah, I think that’s a great tip. And there’s lots of research showing that having constraints helps people be more imaginative and creative and innovative. And that’s what we need, isn’t it for business to realise that we do have constraints, it’s it’s a finite world with finite resources, and there’s no way really to dump our waste and pollution. So we should all be operating as if we’re in a self contained system and thinking of barriers like you know, boundaries like that.

Gavin Fernie Jones 

We’ve constrained ourselves, so specifically there by saying we’re not going to create anything reining in us this that is made us go down loads of different avenues. Like for example, we have been test like we use the community space to test stuff. So we have run a, a kind of like, like a rental site of subscription service. And I’m just going to do a few friends to test out what sort of products we would need. So rather than everyone owning everything you need for buy gear, I think you need for skiing, everything you need for ski touring, you just come and pay a monthly subscription, you will come and take that stuff from the store. It means that we own it, and we’re the people that can repair it, we can service it, we can look after it. So when it comes back, if you’ve ripped it, we’re upset, we’re actually not that bothered, we’ll just fix it. And we can get it back out again. So we’ve been testing and stuff like that. And we’ve only, you know, by putting those really strict restrictions on our stuff, we have to get creative and come up with ideas of how can we use this waste and that that idea came from me being in that shop and looking around and going. There’s all this stuff like it doesn’t want to be on the shop floor that wants to be out in the mountain wants to be on some adventure. Somebody doesn’t want to be here and that’s forcing us into into ideas like that. So yeah, I think I think there’s a really good space for people who are interested in getting into this field, I think is a really good time to just just give it a go and see where it takes

Catherine Weetman 

you. Yeah, definitely. And I think you’re right, you know, startups can really innovate and and, you know, disrupt the supertankers and yeah, because they’re, they’re just fiddling about really with with random acts of circularity, as I think Patagonia once said, So Gavin, is there anybody that you’d recommend as a future guest for the sector economy podcast?

Gavin Fernie Jones 

Yeah, sure. There’s a guy called Dan Lawson. He’s based in the UK and runs an organisation called rerun clothing is a ultra marathon runner by by trade. But his organisation focuses on getting as much lifetime out of running gear as possible. Really interesting. They’ve been doing loads of loads of work on finishes finished jerseys. So you know, when you complete a marathon, like a few marathons, you get a t shirt that you never end up wearing. Again, because we’ve all got running T shirts, we don’t need it. So it’s a lot of work on that. And then more recently, he has done a hell of a lot of work around trainers. One of the stats on the front page of the website is that the average trainer has worn for four to six months, and that it actually takes 11,994 months before that will start to decompose in landfill.

Catherine Weetman 

Wow. Yeah, that sounds fantastic. Right, Well, I’ll I’ll get in touch with with Dan, that sounds like it’d be fascinating. interview. Thank you. So Gavin, how can people find out more about you and want for your time and get in touch?

Gavin Fernie Jones 

Yeah, so our website is WWE dot one tree at a time.fr. We’re also on Instagram and Facebook, LinkedIn where you can find out lots of info about the sort of things that we’re trying to put into action and the changes that we’re making. Brilliant. Thank

Catherine Weetman 

you very much. And good luck with all the the next set of projects that you’ve got in the in the pipeline. Look forward to following you on LinkedIn and seeing more about that. And yeah, keeping them keeping circularity front of mind for everybody in Courchevel.

Gavin Fernie Jones 

Thanks, me. And Kevin, I just like to say, keep commenting on posts and keep the conversation going on LinkedIn, because there’s a massive value. Good conversation about in the last week that I’ve seen on various posts that we both have conversed on is really, really good. It’s really good for getting a brain going.

Catherine Weetman 

Yeah, definitely. And I think, yeah, people are starting to get more challenging on LinkedIn with you know, unpicking things that appear to be perhaps circular or more sustainable but when you think it through in terms of the bigger system, you know, then it it might not be and I think everybody pushing the bar higher particularly for the big brands is you know, it’s it’s one way that we can all influence things, isn’t it? Wait, like I said, we have to be the ones creating the market and that means calling out the the stuff that’s not really solving the problem. Then COURAGING, you know, other innovations that that are making a real difference?

Gavin Fernie Jones 

Yeah, no, I totally agree. And I think, again, that’s all comes back to that strict guideline that we put in space that we will not make anything that then puts us in a position where the bigger, wider industry can’t do anything about what we’re doing. In a sense, they can, you know, what we’re doing is on is the solution. It’s the right way to go. And the industry is going to have to adapt because they can’t find no way around that sort of that model. Yeah. It doesn’t create a lot of leverage and people would like Yeah, I agree. People are really starting to challenge brands and say, That sounds good, but is it really good?

Catherine Weetman 

Yeah, definitely. I can’t remember who who I borrowed this from it might have been al grammar, but be part of the solution, not the pollution. Really great stuff. Well, thank you very much, Gavin. And yeah, look forward to your next post on LinkedIn. See what one trade times doing next. Thanks a lot.

Gavin Fernie Jones 

Thanks, Catherine. Bye!

Want to find out more about the circular economy?

If you’d like to learn more about the circular economy and how it could help your business, why not listen to Episode 1, or read our guide: What is the Circular Economy

To go deeper, you could buy Catherine’s book, A Circular Economy Handbook: How to Build a More Resilient, Competitive and Sustainable Business. This comprehensive guide uses a bottom-up, practical approach, and includes hundreds of real examples from around the world, to help you really ‘get’ the circular economy.  Even better, you’ll be inspired with ideas to make your own business more competitive, resilient and sustainable. 

Please let us know what you think of the podcast – and we’d love it if you could leave us a review on iTunes, or wherever you find your podcasts.  Or send us an email

Podcast music

Thanks to Belinda O’Hooley and Heidi Tidow, otherwise known as the brilliant, inventive and generous folk duo, O’Hooley & Tidow for allowing me to use the instrumentals from the live version of Summat’s Brewin’ as music for the podcast. You can find the whole track (inspired by the Copper Family song “Oh Good Ale”) on their album, also called Summat’s Brewin’.  Or, follow them on Twitter.

Ep79 Jordi Ferre – value from wine waste

79 Jordi Ferre – creating value from wine waste

You may be surprised to learn that, Instead of becoming waste for landfill, grape skins and other unused parts of grapes from the wine-making process can then go on to create important ingredients to support healthy living, which are used in supplements, foods and beverages. Alvinesa Natural Ingredients based in Spain, is a “circular economy” leader of sustainable plant-based ingredients.…
Ep77 Steve Haskew Remanufactured laptops

77 Steve Haskew – the world’s first Kitemark for remanufactured laptops

Steve Haskew of Circular Computing, is back to tell us about how Circular Computing was awarded the world’s first BSI Kitemark™ for Remanufactured Laptops from the British Standards Institute. Steve explains what a Kitemark is, and why it’s important. Steve also tells us how the Kitemark has opened up conversations with new customers and partners, and why it’s important to…
Ep76 Isolde de Ridder – Circular Jewellery

76 Isolde de Ridder – Circular Jewellery

Isolde de Ridder is a circular jeweller and goldsmith. She founded her business - Isolde de Ridder Sieraden, in 2017, to create high-end jewellery with the greatest care for both people and planet. Isolde gives discarded metals and other materials a second life, contributing to a better world for future generations. Isolde began her education to become a goldsmith in…
Ep75 Helena Norberg-Hodge – the future is local

75 Helena Norberg-Hodge – the future is local

HELENA NORBERG-HODGE is a pioneer of the new economy movement and recipient of Right Livelihood Award (aka the "Alternative Nobel Prize"), the Arthur Morgan Award and the Goi Peace Prize for contributing to “the revitalization of cultural and biological diversity, and the strengthening of local communities and economies worldwide.” Helena Norberg-Hodge is also an author, and her most recent book…

Leave a Reply