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Catherine Weetman interviews the inspiring people who are making the circular economy happen. We explore how circular, regenerative and fair solutions are better for people, planet and prosperity. We’ll hear from entrepreneurs & business owners, social enterprises, and leading thinkers. You’ll find the show notes and links at www.circulareconomypodcast.com, where you can subscribe to updates and useful resources.
 
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Catherine Weetman is in conversation with Elmar Stroomer, the founder of Africa Collect Textiles (ACT). Africa Collect Textiles does exactly that – collecting used textiles across Africa, for reuse, recycling and upcycling. Elmar Stroomer has a strong background in the circular economy and design, and lived in Kenya and Uganda between 2012 and 2017…
 
Catherine is talking to Michael Smith, General Partner of Regeneration.VC, an investment fund set up earlier in 2022 that is investing in solutions addressing the climate emergency. The Regeneration.VC advisory board includes Bill McDonough, one of the early and leading thinkers on the circular economy, and co-author of Cradle to Cradle: Remaking t…
 
Does circular mean it’s sustainable? Or, are companies just using circular economy solutions to grow their business (and their footprints)? In this episode, Catherine Weetman wants to shine a light on something that’s been worrying her. Over the last few years, she’s come to realise that the circular economy is not fit for purpose. It’s not helping…
 
Simon Hombersley, CEO of Xampla, shares the story of how this Cambridge University spin-out has created the world’s first plant protein material for commercial use, pioneering the replacement of the most polluting plastics with natural alternatives. Xampla’s ambition is to become the leader in natural polymers, and it’s been developing its natural …
 
Alexandra Rico-Lloyd is one of the UK’s circular economy entrepreneurs, and is passionate about inspiring the next generation to get active and outdoors. Alexandra says there are over 12.5 million unused kids bikes, just in the UK. That spurred her on to create Bike Club back in 2016, to provide a better way to cycle; better for the environment, be…
 
Professor Veena Sahajwalla, founder of UNSW SMaRT Centre, is an internationally recognised materials scientist, engineer, and inventor who is revolutionising recycling science. In 2018, Veena launched the world’s first e-waste MICROfactorieTM and in 2019 she launched her plastics and Green Ceramics MICROfactoriesTM, another breakthrough for recycli…
 
We explore a different way of thinking, about how business fits into our society and economy. Jennifer Hinton is a systems researcher and activist in the field of sustainable economy. Her work focuses on how societies relate to profit and how that relationship affects global sustainability challenges. Jennifer started developing this theory in the …
 
India Hamilton shares more about circular economy food coop SCOOP, Permaculture, membership models, and why she loves compliance officers. Catherine and India also discuss the importance of supporting your local food economy, and how monopolies and exploitative capitalism are underming this. Podcast host Catherine Weetman is a circular economy busi…
 
Catherine talks to India Hamilton, co-founder of circular economy food cooperative SCOOP. We dig into the challenges of providing healthy, affordable and local food on a small island. We hear about the founding principles behind SCOOP and it’s ‘why’. India explains how SCOOP goes beyond the provision of local, healthy and sustainable food and is em…
 
Catherine Weetman is in conversation with Jo Chidley, a circular economy expert, chemist, herbal botanist, and co-founder of TWO successful circular economy businesses, Beauty Kitchen (which is on a mission to create the most effective, natural and sustainable beauty products in the world) and the business we’re focusing on today, ReRe. ReRe is a b…
 
Kim Baker is Senior Director of Innovation at Elemental, which funds circular economy and climate tech solutions through a non-profit model. Elemental is on a mission to redesign the systems at the root of the climate problems , and it’s built a platform for scaling equitable, market-driven solutions, and to uplift people and communities around the…
 
Maria Westerbos tells about the groundbreaking work of the Plastic Soup Foundation. Many of us are becoming increasingly aware of the amount of plastic in our lives – whether it is clothing and household textiles made from synthetic fibres like polyester, acrylic, lycra and so on, or the anti-crease finishes, flame retardants and other additives in…
 
How do we navigate the tensions of having brilliant products that help us enjoy outdoor activities, yet which are difficult to repair and recycle? René Bethmann specializes in textile and apparel technology, and is leading new approaches to the design of more circular products and materials at Vaude Sports. René focuses on emotional durability, rep…
 
If you are a regular listener, you’ll know that every 10th episode, Catherine zooms in on one or two of the common themes from the last series of interviews. In the last series, we’ve heard from 4 businesses and 3 social enterprises, based in Australia, The Netherlands, France, Spain, the UK and the USA.What stood out this time was how circular sol…
 
You may be surprised to learn that, Instead of becoming waste for landfill, grape skins and other unused parts of grapes from the wine-making process can then go on to create important ingredients to support healthy living, which are used in supplements, foods and beverages. Alvinesa Natural Ingredients based in Spain, is a “circular economy” leade…
 
Colin Church, Chief Executive of the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining, the global network for the materials cycle – also known as IOM3, guides us through topics including critical materials, the complexities of modern supply chains, transparency and Life Cycle Analysis, the challenges of how we ensure fair shares of finite resources and …
 
Steve Haskew of Circular Computing, is back to tell us about how Circular Computing was awarded the world’s first BSI Kitemark™ for Remanufactured Laptops from the British Standards Institute. Steve explains what a Kitemark is, and why it’s important. Steve also tells us how the Kitemark has opened up conversations with new customers and partners, …
 
Isolde de Ridder is a circular jeweller and goldsmith. She founded her business - Isolde de Ridder Sieraden, in 2017, to create high-end jewellery with the greatest care for both people and planet. Isolde gives discarded metals and other materials a second life, contributing to a better world for future generations. Isolde began her education to be…
 
HELENA NORBERG-HODGE is a pioneer of the new economy movement and recipient of Right Livelihood Award (aka the "Alternative Nobel Prize"), the Arthur Morgan Award and the Goi Peace Prize for contributing to “the revitalization of cultural and biological diversity, and the strengthening of local communities and economies worldwide.” Helena Norberg-H…
 
Charles Ross is a specialist in Performance Sportswear Design & sustainable matters, focusing on issues like Forever Chemicals (highlighted by the movie Dark Waters), the Plastics-in-the-Ocean, ReGenerative Agriculture. We discuss a range of sustainability issues related to Outdoor Clothing designs and materials, including the issue of over-consump…
 
Tom Szaky, founder of TerraCycle, tells us how the Loop reusable packaging platform is bringing the convenience of prefill to high streets everywhere. TerraCycle and Loop are tackling the root causes of waste, including single use and disposable items.We hear why they chose prefill, and why reuse needs to ‘feel disposable’. Tom explains how they ar…
 
Gavin Fernie-Jones founded One Tree at a Time, an amazing circular social enterprise for outdoor gear and ski-wear, sharing value with the community and nature. Living in the Alps, Gavin has seen for himself the impact global warming has had in the mountains he calls home. He’s always loved the outdoors, having grown up living in an outdoor centre,…
 
Odyssey Innovation collects and recycles marine plastic into kayaks and other products. In 2020, we heard about the UK south-west coast operations – now it is expanding, with the Net Generation Scheme - helping the fishing industry, local government and lots of other stakeholders to create a scalable circular solution to reduce marine plastics. Thi…
 
Solving customer problems is at the heart of a successful product or service – but what if you’ve misunderstood your customer’s pain points?Today’s episode is one of my regular round ups of the last 9 conversations, exploring the theme of customer Pain Points. We’ll look at this from the perspective of businesses, and citizens – you and me. Some of…
 
RubyMoon, based in Brighton in the UK, is already using recycled fibres from Ocean Plastics to make its active wear products, and now wants to go further through research projects that overcome the technical challenges of recovering and recycling the kind of textiles commonly used in swimwear.Jo explains that this project focuses on two key fabric …
 
Kresse Wesling, CBE, is a multi-award winning environmental entrepreneur. After first meeting the London Fire Brigade in 2005, Kresse launched Elvis & Kresse, which rescues and transforms decommissioned fire hose into innovative lifestyle products and returns 50% of profits to the Fire Fighters Charity.The company now collects 12 different waste st…
 
Megan O’Connor is co-founder and CEO of Nth Cycle, a metal processing company that has developed technology to enable a clean, domestic, and streamlined supply of critical minerals for the clean energy transition.Megan tells us how she came up with the idea for using electro-extraction, a technology developed by her co-founder for a completely diff…
 
Alyssa Couture is the author of Healthy Fashion: The Deeper Truths. Alyssa’s book is all about fashion for mental health, physical health, spiritual health, and energetic health. Alyssa brings a radical new perspective to fashion, looking at everything from the textiles and dyes we use, to how our clothes can improve our mental and physical health.…
 
The UK’s first shared wardrobe for kids - Charlotte Morley founded thelittleloop to offer a solution to clothing waste with convenience, choice, quality and value. Charlotte grew up being an advocate for sustainability, and found becoming a parent was a watershed moment. But, when it came to dressing her children she couldn't find a satisfactory so…
 
Pierre-Emmanuel Saint-Esprit is the co-founder of ZACK, France’s leading company enabling the second life of electronic products, through recycling, repair, resale and donation. Last year, the TECH FOR GOOD report by the Presidency of the French Republic named ZACK as one of the top 3 French circular companies.Pierre-Emmanuel explains how his MBA i…
 
As the account manager for the Upcyclecentrum in Almere, in the Netherlands, Hede Razoky has a strong focus on creative entrepreneurship and making connections, for a shared goal of a 'world without waste'. The Upcyclecentrum has three elements: [1] it’s a recycling centre for local citizens, [2] it has an ‘experience room’ made from upcycled mater…
 
Malin Orebäck is leading McKinsey Design’s work in sustainability and circular economy. McKinsey Design is one of the world’s leading design agencies, and Malin shares a wide range of insights and gives us a masterclass introduction to circular design for products and services. Malin explains how she helps her clients get started with circular, and…
 
Astrid Wynne is the Sustainability Lead at Techbuyer, a global sustainable IT solutions provider, which specialises in product life extension. She is also head of partnerships at Interact, a software tool that optimises energy and carbon usage of servers. Astrid has co-authored a number of academic papers including ‘Optimizing server refresh cycles…
 
Every 10th episode, Catherine Weetman looks back at recent conversations and round up some of the insights we’ve heard:The theme for this episode is turning off the tap. What do I mean by that? One of my favourite metaphors for the linear economy - our system of taking materials, making stuff, using it and then throwing it away. We’re pushing lots …
 
Rae Stanton is the Earthcare Retail Lead for Lush Cosmetics UK and Ireland, using Permaculture principles to provide environmental best practice insight and guidance on packaging, sourcing regenerative ingredients and much more. We find out how Lush embeds Permaculture and regenerative agriculture approaches into its business practices, and why Lus…
 
We talk to Elis Joudalova about OLIO, the #1 sharing app. OLIO connects neighbours with each other and with local businesses so surplus food can be shared, not thrown away. This could be food nearing its sell-by date in local stores, spare home-grown vegetables, bread from your baker, or the groceries in your fridge when you go away. OLIO can also …
 
Helen Burdett leads the World Economic Forum’s work on circular economy innovation, including its flagship initiative, Scale360°, and its work on Circular Trailblazers. The Scale360° program advances innovation ecosystems for environmental and economic impact with scalable, locally-led innovation support delivered through private-public partnership…
 
Laura Meijering, a designer, fashion lover and entrepreneur from The Netherlands. While studying, Laura watched the True Cost documentary - something inside her snapped and she realised she wanted to be part of a better fashion system. Laura founded Unravelau in 2017, to unravel the threads of fashion and keep only the good parts. She wants to pion…
 
We meet Anthony Burns, Chief Operating Officer of ACS in Scotland. ACS started out as a formal-wear hire business, and is now an internationally recognised and award-winning circular fashion enterprise with clothes rental offerings for woman, men, children and babies. It is now working with a wide range of fashion brands, acting as their Circular S…
 
Catherine Weetman talks to Louise Bijleveld, Co-Founder of LONO in Côte d’Ivoire. Lono helps agro-industrial companies and farmer cooperatives to create value from waste, by converting it into biofertilizers and biogas. Its overall aim is to help value reach rural areas and reduce the inequalities in agricultural supply chains. Côte d’Ivoire is an …
 
Mick Payne is the Managing Director of Techbuyer’s UK operations. Techbuyer helps businesses maximise their IT budgets by supplying cost-effective new and quality refurbished servers, storage, memory and networking equipment, from over 150 brands including HPE, Dell, IBM and Cisco. Every year it configures over 3000 IT servers and data-erases over …
 
Elizabeth Knight is an author, sustainability activist and founder of New York’s first Repair Café, and is the co-author (with John Wackman) of Repair Revolution: How Fixers Are Transforming Our Throwaway Culture.In the book, John and Elizabeth explore repairing in the broadest sense of the word. They focus on the community repair experience, the w…
 
Jamie Butterworth is a partner at Circularity Capital, helping large investors, including financial institutions, global corporations and family offices, to invest in circular businesses which can gain competitive advantage by breaking the link between resource use and business success Circularity Capital invests in circular businesses and startups…
 
In this season, we’ve featured another 9 amazing, talented people, helping to make the circular economy happen. Our guests have been from the USA, Chile, Ghana, Spain and the UK. We’ve heard valuable insights, shared by people working in startups, in well-established companies, and working to support those with new ideas, or to make existing busine…
 
Ryan Edwards is Co-founder of Naked Innovations, an eclectic mix of entrepreneurial “co-creators, fresh-thinkers, disruptors, shakers and provocateurs” that create and connect agrifood ecosystems to re-align the planet, business and people. Ryan is passionate about transforming and innovating the agrifood industry by developing successful businesse…
 
Paraskevi Fotoglou is Sustainability Engineer at Camira Fabrics, a UK textile manufacturing company for task and soft seating.Paraskevi has expertise in circular economy projects and innovative design ideas. She is exploring new sustainability paths and enhancing circular initiatives with the design, innovation and manufacturing teams across the bu…
 
Joanna Bingham, the founding CEO of Footprints Africa, is focussed on using the circular economy to support sustainable, scalable and inclusive approaches to development of local African economies.Joanna is also a founding partner of the CE360 Alliance, and leads the Ghana chapter for the African Circular Economy Network. She studied at Bradford Un…
 
Gary Giles is another entrepreneur inspired by the circular economy. Gary set up his company, OGEL, to use a material that is quite difficult to recycle and very bulky, so transporting it to be recycled is expensive. We’ll hear how Gary was inspired by the modular design of Lego, and how he’s developed a way of constructing durable buildings that u…
 
Peter is a circular economy coach, workshop facilitator and strategic advisor, and cofounder of the African Circular Economy Network. He helps businesses find circular opportunities, create a compelling business case, and broaden their networks. We hear about some of Peter’s work with SME’s and start-ups, helping them use the circular economy to su…
 
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 al…
 
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