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
Brian Bauer explores how we can use circular approaches for plastic packaging, so we get the benefits of plastic, without the impacts of mismanaged plastic waste. Brian works with Algramo, a Chilean startup that refills product by the gram from vending machines. These refills provide better value for money as well as offering convenience and reducing waste. Algramo is working with Unilever, Colgate Palmolive and other brands, and is expanding to the US and Europe.
With Algramo, Brian focuses on connecting stakeholders to help catalyze reusable packaging systems on a globally significant scale.
“Have good stuff, not too much, mostly reclaimed, care for it, pass it on”.
Catherine Weetman talks to Sandra Goldmark in the United States. Sandra is a designer, teacher, and entrepreneur whose work focuses on circular economy solutions to overconsumption and climate change. She is the author of Fixation: How to Have Stuff without Breaking the Planet, published in October 2020. Sandra is also an Associate Professor of Professional Practice in Theatre and Director of Sustainability and Climate Action at Barnard College.
In 2013, Sandra founded Fixup (formerly Pop Up Repair) and began operating short term repair shops, and educational repair and reuse events, around New York City. We talk about Fixup, and Sandra’s new book, Fixation:
Welcome to the latest round-up of what we’ve shared, and what’s inspired us. In this issue:
• Off the Page – webinar Wed 25 November
• Circular Economy Podcast #40 – Sharing data and values
• What we’ve been reading – Fixation by Sandra Goldmark
Thank you letters – to UNSSC
We round up themes from the last nine episodes, exploring how data is the key to solving problems of waste and underused assets, and why aligning values with your customers is important. Plus, Catherine is celebrating publication of the new edition of her award-winning A Circular Economy Handbook, and shares a code so you can save 20 percent on the print or e-book, worldwide.
Build Back Better
A Circular Economy Handbook! |Odyssey Innovations: kayaks with purpose |Oceans & climate | Unilever doubling down on sustainability | Future-fit taxes | Reviving shoes
Rob Thompson, of Odyssey Innovation in the UK, is an Multi-award winning Innovator, a Marine Conservationist, and a Social Entrepreneur. Rob started Odyssey Innovation to find a way to create value out of beach litter and marine plastics, and is now recycling those plastics into kayaks and other useful products. Rob also supports the Paddle for Plastic campaign.