ApparelXchange is a Scottish social enterprise aiming to make it easy to reuse school uniforms, instead of wasting them. ApparelXchange works with schools across Glasgow (age groups 7-18) to gather uniforms, and process them so they can be reused. There is an online shop, a store in Glasgow plus pop-up shops in schools. We discuss how to make reuse and pre-loved clothing cool, how to persuade people to opt-out of fast fashion, and some of the subscription models popping up for clothing.
How sustainable is your bike? We look at the latest in circular economy bicycle design... Are sustainable, recycled or renewable materials used? Are components designed to be easily repaired or remade? How durable, repairable and functional are the designs and technologies? Let’s take a closer look.
Episode 10 is our first circular economy highlights compilation! Perfect listening to spark your ideas for building a better business in 2020. This would be a GREAT episode to share with someone new to the podcast, or new to the circular economy.
Every day, we hear news about climate change and other critical global risks. Why aren’t we facing up to these, and taking action? Are we suffering from cognitive dissonance? We explore what that means, why it’s problematic, and how we overcome it. We look at how to bridge the gap between the problem and positive solutions, encouraging circular economy approaches to create better businesses (and a better world!).
We explore the food circular economy, with Lucy Antal of food campaigning charity Feedback Global. Lucy explains Feedback’s aim to regenerate nature by transforming our food system. Feedback promotes a circular economy approach to food surplus – using it to feed people, animals and the soil. We talk about farm gate waste, overproduction and ‘gleaning’, supermarket labelling and Feedback’s work with community groups and children. We discuss the importance of food citizenship and connecting food, people and our environment. We chat about some of Lucy’s projects, including a new social enterprise, Alchemic Kitchen, and Regional Food Networks.
The circular economy’s ‘inner loop’ - reuse, reselling and sharing - forms the core of winning circular strategies. We explore examples of each, look at why you might be missing some of the benefits, and remind ourselves why recycling should be a lower priority. The bottom line is this: if you aren’t working out how to tighten the loop in your business ecosystem, with strategies to reuse, resell and share, then you’re missing out on the biggest wins. Even worse, you’re leaving value on the table for your competitors.
Elaine Kerr, Deputy Director of International Synergies Northern Ireland talks about industrial symbiosis and how it ‘oils the wheels’ of the circular economy. Elaine explains what industrial symbiosis is, and how International Synergies provides research and facilitation for ‘resource matching’, helping organisations of all types and sizes. We discuss the multiple benefits of industrial symbiosis: reducing waste and pollution (and associated costs); creating valuable new by-products, jobs, and social value; together with securing access to future resources by setting up local ‘ecosystems’ for materials. Creating new, local feedstocks from redundant resources can also bring widespread benefits for the local economy, helping improve economic prosperity and resilience. We talk about changing attitudes and the ways young entrepreneurs and social enterprises are creating value from what we used to think of as ‘waste’.
Katie Whalen of In the Loop AB has developed two circular economy games, including the well-known In the Loop game for schools and businesses and the new Risk and Race circular business model game. Katie is currently researching business aspects of the circular economy at Lund University. We talk about how to engage people to help them understand the benefits and impacts of circular approaches, and Katie tells us about some of her favourite circular economy businesses.
The circular economy has widespread benefits for society, our planet, AND for business. Whereas most reports tend to focus on macro-economic and sector level benefits, this blog outlines 7 types of circular economy benefits for businesses: Resource security, Regeneration, Risk reduction, Revenue and profit, Relationships, Reputation and Resilience.
Adam Fairweather and his partner Rosalie McMillan run Smile Plastics, a circular economy business that reimagines local waste streams to make beautiful materials for the built environment. We talk about Adam’s approach to design, and his ethos that ‘material language’ can communicate messages to people through design, creating socially, emotionally and industrially durable products. We explore some of the wide range of projects Adam has been involved in over the last couple of decades. Adam tells us about his plans for decentralised manufacturing, forming an industrial ecosystem to reimagine waste.