How can the circular economy add social value? | Knowledge Hub 3.0 | Finance saving our planet | The fingerprint of human influence on our… Read More »Insights #28 – transforming social value
Joanna Bingham, the founding CEO of Footprints Africa, is focussed on using the circular economy to support sustainable, scalable and inclusive approaches to development of local African economies.
Joanna is also a founding partner of the CE360 Alliance, and leads the Ghana chapter for the African CE Network. She studied at Bradford University, the first degree-level circular economy course, supported by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation. Through Footprints Africa, Joanna runs a 6 month B-Corp programme to support SMEs who are positive about improving their environmental and social impact. Having worked in the investment industry for 9yrs, Joanna says “she is schooled in critical analysis and scepticism and is passionate about embedding social purpose in everyday activity.”
We talk about how the circular economy has huge potential to uplift people from poverty and to create meaning, how there are two ways of engaging with the circular economy – out of necessity, and to innovate – and how Footprints Africa’s B Corp programme supports entrepreneurs.
Gary Giles is another entrepreneur inspired by the circular economy. Gary set up his company, OGEL, to use a material that is quite difficult to recycle and very bulky, so transporting it to be recycled is expensive. We’ll hear how Gary was inspired by the modular design of Lego, and how he’s developed a way of constructing durable buildings that use only 3 shapes, are easy to assemble and need very few tools. Plus Gary tells us what a ‘full stop product’ is!
Companies and governments are making transformational net-zero climate-change commitments – what’s creating the momentum and how can circular economy approaches help you get there?
Sustainability and circularity isn’t enough, when we’re starting from here. We’ve already over-exploited natural resources, exhausted and destroyed land, forests, oceans and rivers, and created waste and pollution that is breaching our planetary boundaries.
We need to go beyond circular, and we need to make sure businesses meet the ethical standards that people expect. That means providing good jobs, supporting nature and communities, using safe materials and processes (at every stage from farming and extraction through to use and end-of-use).
So over the last couple of years, we’ve been thinking about how to sum this up – our manifesto, if you like – and we’ve decided to sum it up with an acronym: FAIR
Peter is a circular economy coach, workshop facilitator and strategic advisor, and cofounder of the African Circular Economy Network. He helps businesses find circular opportunities, create a compelling business case, and broaden their networks. We hear about some of Peter’s work with SME’s and start-ups, helping them use the circular economy to succeed and prosper.
I’m thinking of this decade as the Transformational Twenties: transforming our thinking about what’s important, and how we CAN make it happen. This theme runs through my recommendations for this week. I’ve changed (transformed?!) the format of the newsletters too…
Catherine Weetman talks to Tamsin Chislett, cofounder of fashion subscription startup Onloan, which has grown strongly this year despite lockdown.
Onloan is a bit different to other UK fashion rental options because it partners directly with top contemporary fashion brands, and it focuses on ‘elevated daywear’ rather than occasion wear. Onloan is also different because it does all its garment care and logistics in-house. Onloan offers its customers a way to enjoy all the newness and variety of fast fashion, but without the waste, and with much better clothes.
We find out why fashion subscription works so well for the customer and the brands, why Onloan’s customer base doesn’t fit typical demographics, and how Tamsin convinced those first few brands to come on board.
Richard is the Founder and Creative Director of the Biomimicry Innovation Lab, with a mission to inspire and share how the natural world can deliver unique solutions by radically reducing the need for resources. Richard kindly wrote a brilliant piece on Biomimicry for the 2nd edition of Catherine’s Circular Economy Handbook.
We talk about different aspects of biomimicry and how it can inform the design of objects, systems and much more, including Structure and materials, Swarm behaviour, 3D Printing & termites, Self-repairing and ‘exotic’ materials – and why origami is useful! Richard explains how nature uses structure for colour, which leads me to ask whether some of these developments are actually encouraging consumption.
Catherine’s short conversation with Nuradi in Episode 114 of the Bicara Supply Chain podcast, talking about sustainability and the circular economy