The Circular Economy Summit

I attended the annual Circular Economy Summit hosted by the Ellen McArthur Foundation. 

The foundation has a mission of accelerating the transition to a circular economy. The full summit can be streamed via their website here. 

It was an incredible event, some very inspiring people were there to talk about their projects and businesses. I want to share a brief summary of a few of them:

Biosphere 2

The World's largest Earth Science Experiment, found in Arizona USA. This experiment has replicated the earth's natural landscape within controlled conditions, in order to test the limits of nature. This experiment helps us to create knowledge on how to have a circular economy. The biosphere looks at Food, Rainforests, Corals & Water, and actually contains the largest 'indoor ocean'.

And why is it called Biosphere 2? Well Biosphere 1 is the Earth!

River Simple - Hydrogen Fuel Cell Cars

River Simple's purpose is to 'pursue, systematically, the elimination of the environmental impact of personal transport'. 

This car has been built to eliminate the emissions produced by your daily transport. The business works on a contractual basis, so they will always own the car but you pay a monthly fee to include all costs (even fuel and insurance). 

Because the car is actually an asset to the business, it is in their best interest to make the car as efficient and durable as they possibly can.


Orange Fiber 

This company, based in Italy, create fibres for clothing from waste orange peel. Amazing - they literally turn the waste from your morning orange juice into clothes!

This is a patented process, so brands around the world can only buy these fibres from this company. H&M actually released a top made from this fabric and it sold out in 1 hour! There is a huge demand for this type of product, highlighting even more how important a circular economy is.

Gerrard Street 

This company currently, based in Amsterdam, is revolutionising how we buy electronics. 

40 billion kilos of electronics are sent to landfill each year, and this company is looking to tackle this problem. 

For some top quality headphones, you will pay a monthly subscription, and the headphones can be completely disassembled. For the entire life of the headphones you can replace any parts which are worn out, and send the old parts to back to be fixed, reused or recycled. 

This is a very circular way of consuming technology, and although currently only available in the Netherlands, keep and eye out for this product hitting the UK!


Toast Ale

The amazing companies just keep on coming. Toast aims to tackle the enormous amount of bread waste in the UK by using it to make beer. All the bread waste in the UK could be used to brew all the beer!

Not only has Toast prevented over 1 million slices of bread from a wasteful fate, but it also donates 100% of its profits to Feedback, an environmental charity campaigning to end food waste. 

Oh and to top it off, they have open sourced their recipe - so more supermarkets and breweries can use bread waste to make beer!


Continued Fashion 

This company has a platform which allows brands and consumers to connect in order to repurpose and re sell fashion items. Recirculating clothes is 3,000% more efficient than reusing them.

The platform allows brands to take back and re sell products more than once, allowing the circular movement of these clothes through the economy! 


Some very interesting concepts and ideas. Some incredible people. And most importantly a wonderful circular economy we are starting to build!


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