What is the Circular Economy?

The circular economy recirculates resources
rather than making new ones

The way we currently manufacture, design and consume goods is linear. That is we take natural resources, make them into new goods, and throw them away at the end of their life. 

Shifting to a circular economy we would reuse old goods, share or borrow items instead of buying new, repair and refurbish broken items, and remanufacture and recycle materials when goods themselves are finally at their end of life.

The circular economy is...

Rethinking ownership

A new ‘access over ownership’ generation wants: the hole in the wall but not the drill, the mobility but not the car, the nice clothes to wear and good books to read, but not the clutter. The internet is quickly connecting millions of ‘wants’ with millions of ‘haves’, resulting in many people rethinking traditional concepts of ownership.

Consuming differently

Shops like MUD Jeans are helping us consume differently. MUD rent jeans for a year, and remanufacture worn out ones into new pairs. If you scan a QR code on Remo's clothing, you’ll get to see a short video with product info on the proportion of recycled fibers compared to new fibers, as well as the savings in energy, water and C02.

Sharing cities

In response to environmental pressure and to strengthen communities Seoul has joined the sharing city movement, investing in fleets of shared cars, toy and tool libraries and meal sharing opportunities. They've also opened municipal offices and car parks to the public and linked students with older people with room who may want company.

Innovative business

Companies like Argos are seeing value in unwanted products and are encouraging reuse, return and recycling by offering vouchers in exchange for unwanted tablets and phones. Other companies, are investing in circular design. For example Fairphone has designed a phone which can be easily fixed by anyone, while Ford is making compostable car-parts.