Rethinking Textiles for the Circular Economy through Recycling | Annie Clementine
Over the next 10 posts, we’ll be exploring ten different principles to follow when designing circular products. The ten principles were identified through the Amsterdam Circular City strategy, which can be read in full here.
As we take a deeper dive into each of the ten circular design principles, we’ll explore specific companies that have successfully designed circular products using one of the ten principle methods. Our intent is that by showcasing these circular brands and product designs, we as consumers will have the know how to identify these companies and give them our full support.
Let’s get to it. The first principle we will focus on is Recycle:
Recycle: Reuse the materials of the product for application in new products
One of the things we admire most about the companies and brands who have designed circular products, is their unique ability to view waste as a resource. It aligns well with the types of leaders who are able to turn crisis into opportunity.
When it comes to the principle of Recycling, there is no shortage of challenges to be flipped into opportunities. Many of us are familiar with recycling, whether its’ through our cities recycling program, or our own efforts to head to the bottle depot. What many of us are not aware of, are the realities of what happens to these products once they’ve been taken from our curbside. Out of sight, out of mind, right? It is our responsibility as citizens and consumers of these recyclable products to understand how our recycling efforts actually work. Afterall, if these efforts are not effective, what’s the point? A recent CBC Marketplace episode covered this exact topic, and in doing so, unfortunately uncovered some concerning realities.
“Marketplace journalists go undercover overseas and pose as recycling brokers to expose the lucrative plastic recycling business. We reveal that Malaysian companies are willing to break the law to buy Canadian plastic and show how some of it is dumped and burned in illegal landfills, where the toxic fumes and run-off appear to be making people sick.”-CBC Marketplace
As consumers, this is disheartening to learn. But, as the saying goes:
Knowledge is Power.
It is critical that we are continually equipping ourselves with these types of information, regardless of how doom and gloom they may feel. In crisis, there is always opportunity. And the company we outline below has certainly harnessed this opportunity.
The company ‘Evrnu’, has managed to go above and beyond in creating fully circular products directly from textile waste.
“Evrnu technologies are used to create engineered fibers with extraordinary performance and environmental advantages, made from discarded clothing.”
Let’s break this down. In our recent post that explores how circular products are designed, we discuss how designing circular products starts at the very beginning of the value chain, with the suppliers who are making the product components. The question that still lingered for us, was about how we might find a solution for all of the clothing or products that already exists if circularity wasn’t considered in the beginning of the value chain. Evrnu successfully answered this for us and has created a solution with endless opportunity. They’ve also simplified their solution for the everyday consumer to understand:
“Your favorite t-shirt from college, those jeans you wore until they fell apart, live on.”- Evrnu
By choosing to view discarded clothing items as a natural resource, an opportunity, rather than another landfill contributor, Evrnu has opened the flood gates of opportunity in the regenerative fashion space.
To put into context just how big of an opportunity this is, consider the following numbers:
⭕️ The world now consumes about 80 billion new pieces of clothing every year. This is 400% more than the amount we consumed just two decades ago.
⭕️The average American now generates 82 pounds of textile waste each year. That adds up to more than 11 million tons of textile waste from the U.S. alone.
(source: The True Cost)
Imagine a world where instead of continuing to create new products, we challenge ourselves to make use of what already exists?
Companies like Evrnu are paving the path to a future of fully circular sustainability in the textile industry, ensuring a healthy planet for all. To learn more about Evrnu and the circular brands they work with, visit their website:
If Evrnu’s work has inspired you as much as it did us, be sure to share with your friends and family. A fully circular future will only be realized through strength in numbers.
In our next post, we’ll explore the circular design principle of “Repurpose” and the circular brands leading the way.