Charles Ross is a specialist in Performance Sportswear Design & sustainable matters, focusing on issues like Forever Chemicals (highlighted by the movie Dark Waters), the Plastics-in-the-Ocean, ReGenerative Agriculture. We discuss a range of sustainability issues related to Outdoor Clothing designs and materials, including the issue of over-consumption
Tom Szaky, founder of TerraCycle, tells us how the Loop reusable packaging platform is bringing the convenience of prefill to high streets everywhere. TerraCycle and Loop are tackling the root causes of waste, including single use and disposable items.
We hear why they chose prefill, and why reuse needs to ‘feel disposable’. Tom explains how they are helping big brands and retailers to make the business case, feel confident about moving forward, and scale up from pilots to in-store roll-outs.
Gavin Fernie-Jones founded One Tree at a Time, an amazing circular social enterprise for outdoor gear and ski-wear, sharing value with the community and nature. Living in the Alps, Gavin has seen for himself the impact global warming has had in the mountains he calls home. He’s always loved the outdoors, having grown up living in an outdoor centre, but it was while running his bootfitting business The Boot Lab that he realised the impact his business was having on the environment.
Gavin started making small changes to the way that business operated, and seeing the results of this inspired him to start a social enterprise called One Tree at a Time.
One Tree at a Time is embedding circular approaches to change behaviours, build community and protect the mountain environment. The One Tree team has tapped into some surprising sources of ‘waste’ to create value for local people and help build and strengthen local connections. On top of that, One Tree at a Time supports businesses and individuals to change behaviour and protect their mountain environment.
Kresse Wesling, CBE, is a multi-award winning environmental entrepreneur. After first meeting the London Fire Brigade in 2005, Kresse launched Elvis & Kresse, which rescues and transforms decommissioned fire hose into innovative lifestyle products and returns 50% of profits to the Fire Fighters Charity.The company now collects 12 different waste streams and has several charitable partnerships and collaborations across a number of industry sectors.
Since 2005 Elvis & Kresse has transformed waste materials into luxury lifestyle accessories. The company started by turning decommissioned fire-hoses into hand bags, wallets, belts and luggage. In 2017 it enhanced its production by teaming up with the Burberry Foundation, an independent charity set up by the Burberry Group plc, to use Burberry’s leather off-cuts. Elvis & Kresse also use reclaimed material such as tea and coffee sacks, printing blankets and military grade parachute silk for its products and packaging.
Pierre-Emmanuel Saint-Esprit is the co-founder of ZACK, France’s leading company enabling the second life of electronic products, through recycling, repair, resale and donation. Last year, the TECH FOR GOOD report by the Presidency of the French Republic named ZACK as one of the top 3 French circular companies.
Pierre-Emmanuel explains how his MBA in entrepreneurship at Berkeley, California, helped him create a business to fight climate change, and reduce our pressure on natural resources. We find out how ZACK creates social value too, helping people build the skills and confidence to secure employment.
Every 10th episode, Catherine Weetman looks back at recent conversations and round up some of the insights we’ve heard:
The theme for this episode is turning off the tap. What do I mean by that? One of my favourite metaphors for the linear economy – our system of taking materials, making stuff, using it and then throwing it away. We’re pushing lots of resources in at one end of the pipe – but it gushes out at the end, and there are leaks all the way along the pipe with pollution going into the atmosphere, air, water and soil.
And all of that, of course, is undermining our ability to thrive on this planet.
So what can we do? We’ve got to radically rethink business as usual, to turn off that flow of resources and waste. We need to be regenerative instead of destructive and wasteful.
We need a different approach, so we have products with a life of their own, not just serving a single user. We need objects designed for reuse and resale once someone no longer needs them, or objects available in multi user systems with customers sharing or renting when needed.
In this episode, we unpack this to understand how it works, and why it helps to separate the benefits of products and services from their cost to the global commons.
Rae Stanton is the Earthcare Retail Lead for Lush Cosmetics UK and Ireland, using Permaculture principles to provide environmental best practice insight and guidance on packaging, sourcing regenerative ingredients and much more.
We find out how Lush embeds Permaculture and regenerative agriculture approaches into its business practices, and why Lush realised it needed to ‘own the packaging solution’ instead of relying on municipal recycling collections. Rae explains how Lush engaged its customers in designing ‘bring-back’ solutions, including asking them how much the reward should be.
We talk to Elis Joudalova about OLIO, the #1 sharing app. OLIO connects neighbours with each other and with local businesses so surplus food can be shared, not thrown away. This could be food nearing its sell-by date in local stores, spare home-grown vegetables, bread from your baker, or the groceries in your fridge when you go away. OLIO can also be used for non-food household items.
Elis looks after Market Growth & Partnerships for OLIO, and has kickstarted, grown and managed strong food sharing communities in Jersey, Guernsey and Stockholm. Elis is a sustainability, food waste and circular economy change-maker with a contagious passion for food, environment, community empowerment and systems thinking. She loves inspiring and empowering people and businesses to make a change, focuses on the long term vision and has . a unique entrepreneurial approach to solving problems.
We meet Anthony Burns, Chief Operating Officer of ACS in Scotland. ACS started out as a formal-wear hire business, and is now an internationally recognised and award-winning circular fashion enterprise with clothes rental offerings for woman, men, children and babies. It is now working with a wide range of fashion brands, acting as their Circular Service Provider. We find out how the business has evolved, its progress towards B- Corp status, and about some of its innovations in packaging and garment cleaning. We also hear what ACS is doing to be a good neighbour in its local community.