We believe there is a huge opportunity to reimagine business and brands for the circular economy.

“For IKEA, becoming circular is a huge
opportunity to innovate and find new ways to
meet people’s needs and dreams at home within
the limits of the planet. By truly understanding
people’s needs, we can design relevant offers
and meet customers’ needs in new ways.
We are just at the beginning, but are starting to
test a range of solutions, including exploring
new business models”
— Håkan Nordkvist, Head of Sustainability Innovation, IKEA Group
Tim Brown, CEO of IDEO, explains the circular economy and why designers need to get involved. To learn how to start designing differently, visit the Circular Design Guide http://www.circulardesignguide.com

The Economic Opportunity

The Ellen McCarthur Foundation estimates that the shift to a circular economy for European countries would generate +$2 trillion dollars in growth with a 47% reduction in carbon emissions in European market.

In Auckland it has been calculated to be worth $8.8 billion dollars in additional economic activity and reduce carbon emissions by 2,700 ktCO2e in 2030. (Sustainable Business Network Report 2018 Report)

Growth comes from:

1. Designing products so that they can be repaired and reused over again -each product could be sold and resold several times in its life cycle

2. Creating services that enhance the customer relationship and enables a pay per use model

3. Using waste as a resource to produce new products and renewable energy sources

New Business Models Emerge

With the price of resources and energy becoming increasingly volatile, can today's linear economy work in the long term? What if we didn't buy the goods we use, but instead favoured access and performance over ownership? This short animation from the Ellen MacArthur Foundation introduced the idea, and suggests how it could work for businesses, users, and the wider economy.

Here are just some of the companies that are reaping the rewards of going circular:

Land Rover has launched a surfboard made from the plastic foam of early vehicle models as part of our "Waste to Waves" project. Created in partnership with SkunkWorks Surf Co and tested by the English Women's Open Surfing Champion surfer Lucy Campbell.
WornWear.com is an online store for used Patagonia clothing- helping clothes that sit idle in closets make their way back into the field, instead of the landfills. If you need a garment, you can buy used on WornWear.com (or new on Patagonia.com).

Ecostore has switched their packaging from recycled petroleum based plastic to one made from sugar cane that actually removes carbon from the environment.