Dame Ellen MacArthur, Making Fashion Circular

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To say that Ellen MacArthur is a phenomenal woman is an understatement. In 2005, aged 28, she became the fastest person to sail solo, non-stop around the world. It took her 71 days, 14 hours and 18 minutes.

You’re going to hear what that was like, how she stayed focused and what she learned from it. The importance of goal setting really comes through in this interview. Ellen is obviously an incredibly determined person but there’s a take-away for us all here: it’s about having a plan - by knowing which direction you want to go in, that’s how you make stuff happen.

What’s all this got to do with fashion? This is the story of how a world-record-breaking British sailor became an international advocate for the circular economy. How she created a platform, the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, to encourage the global economy to transition to a system that designs out waste & pollution, keeps materials in use and regenerates natural systems. It's also the story of what that might look like, and how we can action it.

Ellen’s lightbulb moment happened at sea. In parts of the Southern Ocean she was 3000 kilometres from land. If she ran out of teabags, there was no nipping to the shop to buy more. She wrote in her logs: "What I have on this boat is all I have.’” That’s how it is with the Earth’s finite resources too.

Last year, the Ellen MacArthur Foundation launched its Make Fashion Circular initiative at the Copenhagen Fashion Summit with Stella McCartney and a bunch of other big brands on board. The aim is to tackling fashion’s polluting and wasteful ways and create a new system.

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