Renting clothing and fashion is going mainstream. We look at why it is better for people and planet, and how Eve Kekeh, founder of Bundlee, built a successful babywear rental subscription business by helping parents choose high-quality, sustainable options and get more value for money. We unpack the linear economy mindset of ‘sell more’, explaining why it’s a race to the bottom...
Matilda Jarbin, one of Sweden’s top young sustainability talents and Sustainability Manager of GIAB, a Swedish company with a business model based on the circular economy. GIAB works with a wide range of business partners, repairing products for reuse and resale. We’ll hear how GAIB got started, back in 2012, working with insurance companies. We find out how GIAB adds value for its clients, and how it’s expanding into new products, markets and services. It’s a fantastic example of how simple ideas can convert potential waste into valuable resources, providing wide-ranging benefits for both businesses and society.
We hear from David Greenfield, about Tech Takeback, a partnership he set up to collect end-of-use consumer technology and get it back into the loop. “Tech-Takeback” is a partnership between SOENECS, Freegle, EraseMydata and Brighton & Hove City Council to collect stranded resources through pop-up shops. We talk about how it got started, the complexities of secure data removal, lessons learned, and David’s plans for the next phase of the project. David tells us about his favourite circular economy example: Biohm, in London – and I’ve saved some more of David’s examples for the next ‘Best Bits’ episode (#20).
In Episode 13 we talk to Beth Massa, founder of Ozarka. Beth and her husband Michael have created a collection of food-to-go containers, called ARK Reusables, so people can replace single-use plastics with reusable, returnable containers.
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.
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.
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.
Whilst recycling seems much better than landfill, for most products it's an expensive, energy intensive and ineffective option. This article sets out the case for adopting other circular economy strategies, or ‘loops’, explaining why the inner loops are better for business and society.
Tom Harper talks to Catherine Weetman about some of the circular economy projects he has introduced to Unusual Rigging Limited, including circular asset management. Fuelled by a drive to ‘be the change’, Tom has designed and implemented initiatives including asset management, reuse and refurbishment, new services, and new approaches to product design. These circular initiatives have brought wide-ranging benefits to the company, improving customer engagement, reducing costs and boosting its competitive edge. Unusual Rigging provides rigging and stage engineering solutions to the entertainment, exhibition and special event sectors across Europe.