Laura Meijering, a designer, fashion lover and entrepreneur from The Netherlands. While studying, Laura watched the True Cost documentary – something inside her snapped and she realised she wanted to be part of a better fashion system. Laura founded Unravelau in 2017, to unravel the threads of fashion and keep only the good parts. She wants to pioneer a new way of designing the clothes we wear. As Laura says, unravelling the fashion industry is a big job, and so Unravelau starts by cutting the crap and spreading awareness of the impact we have on the planet. Unravelau uses only organic and second-hand materials, and produces for customer commissions, so there is no dead stock.
Thinking differently | Greenwashing | Economics of Biodiversity | Circularity along the value chain | Sustainability benchmarking | Action before profits | New community
In this season, we’ve featured another 9 amazing, talented people, helping to make the circular economy happen. Our guests have been from the USA, Chile, Ghana, Spain and the UK.
We’ve heard valuable insights, shared by people working in startups, in well-established companies, and working to support those with new ideas, or to make existing businesses more circular. And yet again, I’m struggling to fit all the brilliant tips and lessons learned into this round-up episode.
A recurring theme was the advice to use different ways of thinking. You can link up with people from outside your organisation, you can use different design perspectives, like biomimicry, lean innovation or systems thinking, and you can develop your own process to help you think about the complete cycle, as we’ll hear later.
Regeneration trajectory | Good, bad, ugly | Fallacious arguments | Confusion to clarity | Changing markets and mindsets | Camira Fabrics | Naked Innovations
Ryan Edwards is Co-founder of Naked Innovations, an eclectic mix of entrepreneurial “co-creators, fresh-thinkers, disruptors, shakers and provocateurs” that create and connect agrifood ecosystems to re-align the planet, business and people.
Ryan is passionate about transforming and innovating the agrifood industry by developing successful businesses, communities and teams. His background includes over 15 years international leadership experience at Cargill as European Marketing & Innovation Leader and as Managing Director of allfoodexperts. Ryan explains how Naked Innovations combines human-centred design and circular design to work on solutions that understand the needs of people and our planet.
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!
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.
In this episode, Catherine talks to Dan Dicker,the Founder and CEO of Circular&Co, the new brand name for ashortwalk Ltd and rCUP®.
Dan began his career as a product designer at Dyson, but had a strong desire to live and work a short walk from the sea. So, back in 2003, Dan founded a pioneering Circular Design practice ‘ashortwalk’. Now Circular&Co invent solutions that keep our materials and finite resources in use for as long as possible, whilst preventing them from ever reaching landfill or our oceans.
As well as their range of award-winning products available across 38 countries, they advise, develop, and deliver circular solutions for global brands worldwide, reinventing today’s waste into tomorrow’s Circular products.
We discuss Dan’s design approach, and how Dan believes that businesses going circular have everything to gain financially, as well as environmentally.
We review the last 9 episodes, exploring key themes & summarising what we’ve learned. Plus, we hear from Geoff van Sonsbeeck, on womenswear brand Baukjen’s packaging approach.
The wonders of online communication mean we’ve been to the United States, Jordan, Uganda, Canada and Ghana in the last nine episodes. We’ve talked to a start-up looking for funding, two social enterprises, two charities, a community cooperative, and several businesses that have been growing for 15-20 years.
If we look at the circular economy strategies of these organisations: five are helping to ‘Close the Loop and Regenerate’, two are ‘Slowing the Flow’ of materials through more durable, circular designs, and two are ‘Intensifying the Flow’ through sharing services.
We’ll also look at how these different organisations are creating value for different groups – for their customers, suppliers, employees, communities – and for our planet.
Podcast: Sharing tools and skills | Resource security | Fast fashion’s real price | Circular manufacturing in low income countries | Why IKEA is switching to circular | #buildbackbetter | Circular Design Cards