The Case for Using Recycled Materials

The goal of circularity, as we’ve discovered, is to remove waste throughout the system that produces retail goods (or any other system, really). It’s about redesigning, reusing, and recycling consumer products—and reducing their negative impact on the environment. Today, we’re going to begin our look at recycling, a key part of the circular equation. More specifically, we’ll examine the four most promising ideas in this area: Using recycled raw materials in products Expanding opportunities for […]

The Promise of Circulytics

Circular Economy Measurements In the last few weeks, we’ve covered a lot of information about the circular economy. Before we move on, let’s take a few short paragraphs to recap the essentials. The circular economy is a model that separates economic growth from the consumption of finite resources. It creates something called restorative flow, where raw materials, components, and products are all reused at the highest level of utility, while minimizing pollution and waste. The […]

The Circular Economy by the Numbers

The Material Circularity Indicator and the Linear Flow Index You know that old managerial maxim of “what gets measured, gets managed?” Well, it sure applies to the world of sustainability, too. You simply can’t evaluate the efficacy of any eco-friendly initiative without a set of clear and strong measurements. These metrics need to tell a genuine and compelling story of progress, one devoid of “green-washing” or other half-hearted efforts. What first drew my attention to […]

Retail Waste Recovery

Operation: Retail Waste Recovery Let’s start this post with one sobering statistic: According to Vogue magazine, fifty million tons of clothing end up in landfills every year. That’s right. Fifty million tons. Let’s now look at this set of facts. Thanks to falling costs, streamlined operations, and rising consumer spending, clothing production doubled from 2000 to 2014, and the number of garments purchased each year by the average consumer increased by 60 percent. That’s right. […]

Waste in Retail Packaging

Waste in Retail Packaging: A Brief Primer Full disclosure: This article was particularly tough to write. Sure, the subject itself, waste in packaging, can be both depressing and difficult to describe. But on a more personal level, I had to come face-to-face with an inconvenient truth. I was a major contributor to the waste problem.  You see, I had converted to mostly online shopping following the birth of my first child. Oof. As I did […]