by Jane Fellner
Our collective conscious is changing, sustainability is coming to the fore. Driven by many factors from the horror at the impact of single use plastics in our oceans to fears around global warming.
For me, my position on sustainability has changed, what once felt the territory of do-gooders, now as a parent feels an imperative to get involved and take responsibility. I want my child to have a healthy planet to inhabit.
For the last year, running my start-up which is underpinned with a sustainable ethos, I have started to learn about the concept of a circular economy.
The Ellen Macarthur Foundation are leading proponents of the circular economy and define it as:
“Looking beyond the current take-make-dispose extractive industrial model, a circular economy aims to redefine growth, focusing on positive society-wide benefits.”
The circular economy model synthesise several schools of thought to create a roadmap to a more sustainable economy and society through three ways:-
- Design out waste and pollution
- Keep products and materials in use
- Regenerate natural systems
Source: Ellen Macarthur Foundation
Globally there are initiatives by Governments, NGO’s, scientists, industrialists and entrepreneurs towards building a circular economy.
From the “right to repair” a series of proposals from European environment ministers to force manufacturers to make TV’s and large home appliances last longer and easier to mend to corporations driving towards closed loop production. A sustainable system in which a product is created using renewable energy, with no pollutant output and no waste. The materials used in production are recycled and reused rather than discarded.
With scientific and tech developments, the possibilities for rapid change in the supply chain of products are proliferating. Janine Banyu’s, author of Biomimicry: Innovation Inspired by Nature, describes exciting possibilities where with 3-d printers we will be able to print products to order with no waste.
But how can we as individuals take a more circular approach in the way we live?
It takes time and thought but if we all acted we could initiate real change through our economic power.
We can strive to go beyond recycling and using water bottles to change the very way we consume.
When we shop for ourselves or our family we can approach it considering quality and durability. Potentially paying more upfront but in fact less per wear or use. Selling or donating those clothes and products to charity when we no longer want them, to extend their use.
We can be open to shopping second hand for clothes and products or supporting the many initiatives that are springing up to lease or share stuff.
On www.fatlama.com you can rent everything from tents to tools. Thrift.plus sends a box to you, and will give you 25% credit in store of every sale and donate 50% of the profits to charity and of course, my business www.loopster.co.uk will buy your unwanted kids clothes and donate the ones we don’t accept to Traid. (If you agree)
We can support the many innovative businesses and technologies that are developing sustainable products like fashion brand ecoalf.com, which has sustainability at the very core of its products.
It is worth thinking about, we all need to live in a way that doesn’t cost the earth.
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