The UK’s first shared wardrobe for kids – Charlotte Morley founded thelittleloop to offer a solution to clothing waste with convenience, choice, quality and value. Charlotte grew up being an advocate for sustainability, and found becoming a parent was a watershed moment. But, when it came to dressing her children she couldn’t find a satisfactory solution to the waste that rapidly-growing mini-humans create. Hand-me-downs were haphazard and offered no choice. Buying new then trying peer-to-peer resale was incredibly time consuming and didn’t recover much of the original cost. Charlotte was intrigued by how to incentivise children’s clothing brands to create garments that would last. Shocked by the problems of under-used clothing and frustrated by the lack of convenient solutions, she decided to solve the problem by working with children’s clothing brands to create a rental service, thelittleloop, offering a solution to clothing waste with convenience, choice, quality and value. The little loop works hand in hand with brands, who take a share of the rental revenue, sharing responsibility for the lifespan of the garments, and receiving data to help improve their production standards. Charlotte’s business is already winning awards, including from Marie Claire and Junior magazine, and was featured in the Guardian last month.
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.
As the account manager for the Upcyclecentrum in Almere, in the Netherlands, Hede Razoky has a strong focus on creative entrepreneurship and making connections, for a shared goal of a ‘world without waste’.
The Upcyclecentrum has three elements:  it’s a recycling centre for local citizens,  it has an ‘experience room’ made from upcycled materials, for use by local businesses and community groups, and [thirdly] it has a brilliant entrepreneur incubation programme… providing facilities, materials and other support to artisan businesses that turn local waste materials into desirable, high-value products.
Helen Burdett leads the World Economic Forum’s work on circular economy innovation, including its flagship initiative, Scale360°, and its work on Circular Trailblazers.
The Scale360° program advances innovation ecosystems for environmental and economic impact with scalable, locally-led innovation support delivered through private-public partnerships–all connected through a global digital community.
Circular Trailblazers are the subject of a new report from the World Economic Forum and impact organization ScaleUpNation. The special study was conducted to better understand innovators within the circular economy given the major opportunities they offer, for both job creation and economic development.
Across Africa, and much of the world, end-of-use plastic is not collected for proper recycling. Instead, it is burnt; ends up in drains, sewers, fields and rivers; or in unprotected landfill, allowing toxins and microplastics to leak out. This is one of the hidden costs of our modern ‘linear’ economy – take, make and waste. Four entrepreneurs are turning that plastic waste into value – creating jobs for both disadvantaged and skilled people, improving local environments, and helping people find a purpose. We dig into their business models and hear their top tips for circular startups
Eco Brixs | lessons from social entrepreneurs in Africa | 30 under 30 | Don’t try to fix the problem
In this episode, we focus on the ‘how’ of making your business circular, looking at the different ways people were getting to grips with the problem they wanted to solve. We also get an update on the new subscription model for ApparelXchange, and get some ‘bonus’ circular economy examples from David Greenfield (aka Dr Resources of the Circular Economy Club London).
How do we find a linear problem that needs a circular economy solution? Bec Evans, author of How to Have a Happy Hustle: the complete guide to making your ideas happen” suggests starting with what’s bugging you, and become ‘avid problem collectors’. We look at how our guests in the last series hunted down their linear problems and got clear on what the customer needed – the ‘job to be done’ in ‘Lean’ terms.
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…
Nancy Bocken co-founded the company HOMIE, which is developing circular services for pay-per-use home appliances, starting with washing machines. Nancy has an academic background, and she is professor and research coordinator in Sustainable Business Management and Practice at Lund University in Sweden.
We talk about how Homie got started, and how the service works. Nancy tells about some of the challenges they faced, and the benefits of pay-per-use for customers, the business, and our environment.
Nancy gives us some great tips for those of you thinking about circular projects or startups, and we hear how Homie has built relationships with its customers so that a lot of the marketing is by word-of-mouth.
Elaine Kerr, Deputy Director of International Synergies Northern Ireland talks about industrial symbiosis and how it ‘oils the wheels’ of the circular economy. Elaine explains what industrial symbiosis is, and how International Synergies provides research and facilitation for ‘resource matching’, helping organisations of all types and sizes.
We discuss the multiple benefits of industrial symbiosis: reducing waste and pollution (and associated costs); creating valuable new by-products, jobs, and social value; together with securing access to future resources by setting up local ‘ecosystems’ for materials.
Creating new, local feedstocks from redundant resources can also bring widespread benefits for the local economy, helping improve economic prosperity and resilience. We talk about changing attitudes and the ways young entrepreneurs and social enterprises are creating value from what we used to think of as ‘waste’.