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Circular economy

Circular Economy Podcast Episode 88 Alexandra Rico-Lloyd - the Bike Club

88 Alexandra Rico-Lloyd – the Bike Club

Alexandra Rico-Lloyd is one of the UK’s circular economy entrepreneurs, and is passionate about inspiring the next generation to get active and outdoors.
Alexandra says there are over 12.5 million unused kids bikes, just in the UK. That spurred her on to create Bike Club back in 2016, to provide a better way to cycle; better for the environment, better for parents and their children.
Bike Club has revolutionised the traditional model of ownership, aiming to change family cycling forever. It’s had over $40million of funding and reached 40,000 cyclists so far, and Bike Club says that makes it the largest micro mobility network in the UK – larger than Uber and Santander Cycles (what we used to call Boris Bikes).
Alexandra, who was recently listed in the Forbes 30 Under 30 list, shares the story of how the Bike Club grew from a self-funded ‘minimum viable proposition’, with a few bikes packed into an attic spare room. She explains how it’s delivering deeper levels of value for customers, and how its collaboration with one of the UK’s leading retailers has opened up its next development phase.

Circular Economy Podcast - 87 Veena Sahajwalla High-value MICROFactories

87 – Veena Sahajwalla – high-value opportunities from MICROFactories

Professor Veena Sahajwalla, founder of UNSW SMaRT Centre, is an internationally recognised materials scientist, engineer, and inventor who is revolutionising recycling science. In 2018, Veena launched the world’s first e-waste MICROfactorieTM and in 2019 she launched her plastics and Green Ceramics MICROfactoriesTM, another breakthrough for recycling technology. Veena unpacks the concepts of micro-factories and micro-recycling, and we hear why it’s important to get clear on the constituent materials in waste flows – for example, not just textiles, but what the textile is made from.
Veena explains the importance of thinking beyond the manufacture of the recycled material, so you are designing solutions that are properly suitable for high-value end-products. Veena also describes how the projects are collaborating with industry partners, helping open up opportunities for important local jobs, skills and resilient income streams.

Circular Economy Podcast 86 Jennifer Hinton - Rethinking how profit is used

86 Jennifer Hinton – Rethinking how profit is used

We explore a different way of thinking, about how business fits into our society and economy. Jennifer Hinton is a systems researcher and activist in the field of sustainable economy. Her work focuses on how societies relate to profit and how that relationship affects global sustainability challenges.
Jennifer started developing this theory in the book How on Earth, which outlines a conceptual model of a not-for-profit market economy – the Not-for-Profit World model.
As an activist, Jennifer collaborates with civil society organizations, businesses, and policy makers to transform the economy so that it can work for everyone within the ecological limits of the planet. Jennifer holds a double PhD in Economics and Sustainability Science, and is a researcher at Lund University and a senior research fellow at the Schumacher Institute.

Circular Economy Podcast BONUS - India Hamilton - SCOOP - part 2

Bonus – BONUS India Hamilton – SCOOP  – part two

BONUS Ep85 part 2 – India Hamilton shares more about circular economy food coop SCOOP, Permaculture, membership models, and why she loves compliance officers. We also discuss the importance of supporting your local food economy, and how monopolies and exploitative capitalism are underming this.

Circular Economy Podcast Episode 85 - India Hamilton - SCOOP

85 India Hamilton – SCOOP – transforming local food systems

India Hamilton, cofounder of circular economy food cooperative SCOOP explains the challenges of providing healthy, affordable and local food on a small island. We hear about the founding principles behind SCOOP and it’s ‘why’. India explains how SCOOP goes beyond the provision of local, healthy and sustainable food and is embedding circular solutions across the business. We find out how it survived during lockdown, and discuss India’s counter-intuitive conclusions about the real meaning of convenience

Circular Economy Podcast Episode 84 Jo Chidley - ReRe

84 Jo Chidley – ReRe – reusable packaging for consumer goods

Catherine Weetman talks to Jo Chidley, a circular economy expert, chemist, herbal botanist, and co-founder of TWO successful circular economy businesses, Beauty Kitchen (which is on a mission to create the most effective, natural and sustainable beauty products in the world) and the business we’re focusing on today, ReRe. ReRe is a buy anywhere, return anywhere, reuse anywhere alternative to single-use packaging, helping retailers, brands and consumers to switch to Reuse & Refills across a wide range of products from milk to moisturisers and pasta to protein.

Circular Economy Podcast - Ep 83 – Kim Baker – funding equitable, market-driven circular solutions

83 – Kim Baker – funding equitable, market-driven circular solutions

Kim Baker is Senior Director of Innovation at Elemental, which funds circular economy and climate tech solutions through a non-profit model. Elemental is on a mission to redesign the systems at the root of the climate problems , and it’s built a platform for scaling equitable, market-driven solutions, and to uplift people and communities around the world. Since 2009, Elemental has invested in over 130 growth-stage companies.
Kim Baker has over 15 years of experience in launching and growing engineered systems into industrial and municipal markets. Currently, she works at the intersection of the built environment and carbon-related investments together with the design of technology demonstration projects.
We find out what sets Elemental apart as a funder and hear about just a few of the many different types of businesses in the Elemental portfolio, including Trove, Thrilling, Goodr and Reath. Kim explains how Elemental finds and select the companies it invests in, and I also ask Kim about her background, and her ‘why’.

Circular Economy Podcast 82 Maria Westerbos – Plastic Soup Foundation

82 – Maria Westerbos – Plastic Soup Foundation

Maria Westerbos tells about the groundbreaking work of the Plastic Soup Foundation.
Many of us are becoming increasingly aware of the amount of plastic in our lives – whether it is clothing and household textiles made from synthetic fibres like polyester, acrylic, lycra and so on, or the anti-crease finishes, flame retardants and other additives in those fibres. And of course, there’s plastic packaging, the outer cases of phones and laptops, and much, much more. Plastic has many useful properties: it can be moulded into complex shapes, it’s light weight, flexible, durable and so on.
But now, we’re realizing there are downsides to all this – what happens when plastic is discarded, and ends up causing pollution and harm to other living species – and also, how plastic, and the chemicals it contains, is affecting our health. We know plastic particles and microfibres are now found all around the world, and are contaminating our water and food – but what about our contact with plastics in our daily lives… they are in lots of personal care products, we wear them next to our skin, we eat food that’s been wrapped in plastic.
Maria Westerbos explains why we need to understand much more about the impact of plastics on our health, and how some of the organisations that exist to protect our health are – shamefully – looking the other way.

Circular Economy Podcast Episode 81 René Bethmann – circular designs for outdoor sports gear

81 – René Bethmann – circular designs for outdoor sports gear

How do we navigate the tensions of having brilliant products that help us enjoy outdoor activities, yet which are difficult to repair and recycle? René Bethmann specializes in textile and apparel technology, and is leading new approaches to the design of more circular products and materials at Vaude Sports. René focuses on emotional durability, repairability and renewable or recyclable materials. Plus, if we focus on defossilization, not decarbonization, we can unlock new ways of thinking about textiles, coatings and other materials.