Our May theme is all about the consideration of the full lifescycle of the products and/or services you purchase. We asked our Leadership Team to provide a list of some of their favorite brands that have been able to successfully bring this business model to life in unique ways. They also shared some of their favorite Circular Economy resources like consumer guides and a great Ted Talk!
Check out our top picks and add yours in the comments below!
- Method – Once a startup confined to the four walls of an apartment, Method is now the largest and fastest-growing “green” cleaning products company in its field.It’s championing circular economy principles by using infinitely recyclable materials, using renewable energy, with cradle-to-cradle certification and a $250m annual revenue.
- H&M – The clothing company has begun a Garment Collecting program where shoppers can bring their old or unwanted clothes to their retail stores. H&M’s then turns some of those textiles into new yarns for use in their products. Right now their current manufacturing capabilities can weave in 20% of recycled fibers without any loss of quality or longevity and they’re aiming to get that number to 100%.
- Nike – Nike’s Reuse-a-Shoe program recycles worn out athletic shoes into Nike Grind, which is used to create new athletic surfaces such as courts, turf fields, and tracks. Nike Grind is also used to make new products like the zipper pull on the Nike Vapor jacket.
- Philips’ LED Program – Washington, D.C. is following in the footsteps of a bunch of cities that have — or are in the process of — switching their lighting to LEDs. But unlike the other cities, Washington isn’t paying the high costs of making the switch — it is taking advantage of the first foray of Philips Lighting (which manufactures the LEDs) into offering a “lighting as a service” model.
- Airbnb – The sharing economy is also part of the circular economy. Airbnb is a great example of leveraging our existing assets to provide services.
- Consumer Guides for healthy, environmentally and socially sustainable products:
- Robert Neuwirth’s Ted Talk, The Power of the Informal Economy, and his book, Sleath of Nations: The Global Rise of the Informal Ecomony
- Achieving a Circular Economy: How the Private Sector is Re-imagining the Future of Business, The US Chamber of Commerce Foundation Report