Circular Economy

Adidas to take back apparel from any brand in resale program with ThredUp

The fashion industry is one of the world’s biggest polluters. The textiles industry relies mostly on non-renewable resources – and with low usage rates and low levels of recycling, this linear system creates a massive footprint and applies pressure on the world’s resources. adidas’ sustainability mission is to help End Plastic Waste through forging partnerships and developing product innovations that either: use recycled materials, are made to be remade or are made with nature.

Adidas has introduced its Choose to Give Back program aimed at helping to extend the lifecycle of sports performance & lifestyle apparel and footwear.

Leveraging thredUP’s Resale-as-a-ServiceⓇ platform and expertise, the program will invite consumers to send used product from any brand back to adidas.Initially launched within the adidas Creators Club app to members on October 7, the program is rolling out more widely online and in stores in early 2022. To participate, consumers can generate a Clean Out Kit prepaid shipping label through the app and use it to send apparel and accessories across any brand or category, including their used sports gear in – from its running shoes to soccer jerseys or other performance apparel. If an item is not in a condition to be resold it will go through thredUP’s select network of textile reuse partners. In exchange for sending in their old gear Creator Club members will earn rewards.

By making it easy to buy and sell second hand, thredUP has become one of the world’s largest resale platforms for women’s and kids’ apparel, shoes and accessories. thredUP has processed over 125 million unique secondhand items from 35,000 brands across 100 categories.

Choose to Give Back is the latest of many sustainability initiatives from adidas – including a low-carbon shoe collaboration with Allbirds, Stan Smith Mylo: made with mycelium, the root structure of mushrooms and Made to be Remade shoes. The brand is also working towards a goal of Carbon Neutrality across all North America facilities by 2025, including retail stores, distribution centers, and employee offices.

Circular Economy

The world’s first NetZero professional football game on September 19 #GameZero

The Premier League club @Tottenham Hotspur has partnered with media group @Sky to progress plans for the home fixture against Chelsea on September 19, which has been branded #GameZero. All direct emissions will be reduced as much as possible, with the remainder offset through natural projects that remove emissions from the atmosphere. This will include

REDUCE MATCH DAY EMISSIONS

Reducing all match day emissions

GREEN TRANSPORT

Green transport for fans and club members – players will head to the stadium on a coach that is running on biofuel, Fans and staff will be encouraged to use EV’s, Public Transport, Bicycles

FOOD

Better food choices will be available at the stadium and will include Plant based foods

ZERO to LANDFILL WASTE

Clear recycling instructions for fans on its bins, as well as a reusable beer cup scheme.

The club, COP26 partner Sky and the UK Government want the game to raise awareness of the threat of climate change and encourage football fans to make changes that will help reduce their carbon footprint.

For those emissions which remain, Sky is working with Natural Capital Partners to restore natural carbon sinks which remove emissions from the atmosphere, by supporting a community reforestation in East Africa, and creating new UK native woodlands to support the UK’s net zero objectives. The Club and Sky will also plant trees locally to the stadium later this year.

Circular Economy

Tights are a product that truly represents throwaway fashion, as on average, a pair of tights don’t last beyond a single wear.

UK-based hosiery brand Hēdoïne has launched the world’s first biodegradable tights collections, which they also claim are ladder-resistant, in a quest to tackle throwaway fashion and make hosiery more sustainable.
Its mission is to address the fact that billions of tights end up in landfill every year, and to reduce this it is focusing on longevity, recycling and biodegradability.

The new biodegradable tights aren’t only made from more sustainable components, they also utilise Hēdoïne’s unique knitting technology that makes the tights last longer, which leads to less consumption. fully biodegradable yarn does not yet exist, so it has used a yarn that saves 85 percent of otherwise non-biodegradable materials from landfill. The remaining 15 percent follows the standard waste management process.

Circular Economy

The green economy is being built on steel

Steel, is critical to the wind turbines, solar panels and electricity pylons needed to displace fossil fuels. At the same time the steel industry is a huge emitter of CO2. It is reliant on burning billions of tons of coal, with the industry emitting more carbon dioxide than cars, buses and motorbikes combined.

Nucor is a leading North American producer of merchant bar & rebar, engineered bar, structural steel, carbon steel plate, and sheet steel products and technologies thanks to an ongoing commitment to innovation.

Econiq™ is the world’s first net-zero carbon steel at scale, introduced to offer steel consumers emissions-free steel products to help meet their sustainability goals. The Econiq certification will cover all of Nucor’s steelmaking product line, the most comprehensive in the U.S. market.

By introducing Econiq, Nucor is providing confidence for steel consumers to know they are purchasing the lowest greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions steel product available. A first of its kind at scale for the United States steel industry, Econiq will be available across Nucor’s steelmaking product lines, the broadest and most diversified offerings in the U.S. market. General Motors, will be Nucor’s first customer for Econiq beginning in the first quarter of 2022.

Nucor has been working on reducing emissions for some time now. In 2020, it was the 7th largest corporate buyer of renewable electricity in the U.S. through Virtual Power Purchase Agreements. Econiq is made using 100% renewable electricity (Scope 2), with Scope 1 emissions eliminated through the purchase of carbon offsets. The company is currently evaluating how to remove Scope 3 emissions.

Circular Economy

Plastic waste and other harmful waste materials reach the oceans from our rivers. Cities also flood because our riverways are clogged and the smooth flow of water gets impeded.

This is why cleaning up our oceans and preventing flooding in cities has a common solution. Which is to clean up our rivers.

Finding new ways to address our environmental challenges is reliant on our ability to foster innovation to find ways of driving systemic change. To support such innovation and progress towards circularity, Huhtamaki, a global provider of sustainable packaging solutions for consumers, donated €600,000 to fund the development and piloting of a river waste collector, invented by the Finnish cleantech start-up RiverRecycle.

The collector is an integral part of RiverRecycle’s solution to solve marine waste, one of the biggest global challenges of today. With Huhtamaki’s CSR support, a prototype waste collector was built and tested in Finland. This was then transported to and assembled in Mumbai, where it is now operational and where it will be collecting waste from the Mithi River for the next 12 months.

The Mithi River project is run by a global partnership between UNTIL (now known as UN Global Pulse), VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd, RiverRecycle and Earth5R, an India-based citizen-led environmental movement.

Circular Economy

Bestsellers investment portfolio hints at significant changes in its business model after it invests in Circular Systems, Nature Coatings, Evrnu, and Infinited Fiber.

Infinited Fibre’s technology can turn any cellulose-rich material – like old clothes, used carboard, or agricultural waste like straw – into a unique, biodegradable, and re-recyclable soft fiber with a natural look and feel.

Circular Systems S.P.C. is a materials science company focused on the development of innovative circular and regenerative technologies, transforming waste into valuable fiber, yarn, and textile fabrics for the fashion industry. The fibres and materials it produces include Agraloop BioFibre (leftovers from food and medicine crops made into fibres), Orbital Hybrid Yarn (natural-fibre-rich performance with organic and recycled fibres), and Texloop Recycling (made from textile waste).

Nature Coatings transforms wood waste into high performing black pigments. The wood waste is sourced from sustainable FSC certified forests. Our manufacturing process is closed-loop and a circular system. No external energy is required to run the equipment, and our process does not emit any CO2 or other greenhouse gases. Nature Coatings’ pigments are designed for industry.

Evrnu technologies are used to create engineered fibers with extraordinary performance and environmental advantages, made from discarded clothing. NuCycl Technologies by Evrnu include: Regenerative Cellulosics, Next generation regenerative Cellulosic solvent systems, Regenerative Polyester, Recoverable Stretch and Bio Engineered Fibers.

Circular Economy

Plastic can be found in the air we breathe, the water we drink and the food we eat

The average person consumes about 5 grams of plastic every week – that’s the equivalent of a credit card. Started by WWF-Singapore and based on WWF’s No Plastic in Nature Initiative, Plastic ACTion (PACT) is a business initiative that aims to eliminate plastic pollution in nature and move towards a circular economy on plastics. It recognises the integral role that businesses play to solve the issues of unnecessary use of plastics and plastic pollution. PACT provides businesses with guidance, life cycle assessments, resources and best practices, enabling them to make science-based decisions to reduce their plastic footprint.

Businesses can join via two main approaches – sectoral collaboration and individual company commitments. The initiative also has an Alternative Materials Tool that guides businesses towards single-use packaging materials with a lower environmental footprint, without transferring the environmental cost to another system. It provides a precise ranking of alternative materials and allows material comparisons.

Using lifecycle environmental data from Ecoinvent and other scientific literature, over two dozen materials commonly used for packaging have been analysed. The environmental impacts calculated cover raw material extraction, manufacturing, and the impacts of waste treatment in the country of disposal, currently Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines and Thailand.

Circular Economy

The four-seat BMW i Vision Circular will be a compact, all-electric vehicle for the year 2040 focused on sustainability and luxury

This Vision Vehicle has been designed according to circular economy principles. The aim is to achieve 100% recycled materials use/ 100% recyclability.

BATTERY

The all-solid-state battery in the BMW i Vision Circular is 100 per cent recyclable and manufactured almost entirely using materials from the recycling loop. It will achieve much higher energy density with significantly reduced use of the most valuable resources.

RECYCLED MATERIALS

When it comes to the materials used, the focus with the BMW i Vision Circular is on recycled materials (“secondary first” principle) which can be disassembled quickly and easily at the end of the product life cycle.

DISASSEMBLY

The deliberate spotlight on disassembly is therefore an important aspect. The quick-release fastener for the wheels, seats and instrument panel, and a cord tie in the rear seat bench do most to showcase the detachability of material connections in aesthetically appealing form, creating a “joyful fusion”.

FEWER MATERIALS and MINIMIZING WASTE

  • Mono-materials and clever new joining techniques for them which avoid the use of glue ensure optimum suitability for dismantling and sorting at a later stage. In order to minimise the amount of waste and offcuts, all components and materials will be manufactured to fit exactly using processes such as 3D printing. Any surplus material will be systematically fed back into the materials cycle.
  • At the front end, the kidneys and headlights have been newly interpreted as a digital surface. In the future, digital design could make geometric variations in lights and bumpers redundant, helping to reduce the quantity of materials and tools required.
  • Instead of additive trim elements, or badging of the sort currently used to signify quality, the brand logo is engraved on the front end and the vehicle badge is lasered on to avoid using extra add-on parts.

TYRES and WHEELS

  • The slightly transparent tires are made from certified, sustainably cultivated natural rubber. Coloured, recycled rubber particles are added to the tyre compound for strengthening and create an intriguing terrazzo effect which purposefully highlights the reuse of materials.
  • The wheel rims are designed for minimal materials use. Rim centres with maximum permeability provide brake cooling, while the more enclosed surfaces to the outer reaches of the wheels ensure the greatest possible aerodynamic efficiency.

DATA

  • Another key measure in the drive towards sustainable urban mobility in- volves making intelligent use of the available real-time and long-term traffic data in order to maximise efficiency. If the sensor data and information gathered by the individual vehicles is shared with the entire fleet (with the users’ consent), all vehicles will benefit from the resulting swarm intelli- gence.
  • Speed recommendations could be optimised to make better use of traffic light phases (“green wave”), traffic flows forecasted more accurately and periods of congestion minimised as a result of vehicles communicating with each other and with their environment. CO2 emissions caused by stop-start traffic or even searching for a parking spot would be reduced significantly across a large number of users.

Circular Economy

Leather without animals!

Mylo™️ is a material innovation by Bolt Threads and is a verified vegan, sustainable, animal-free leather alternative made from mycelium – the infinitely renewable underground root system of fungi.The Stella McCartney Frayme is the world’s first bag made from Mylo™️ to be part of a runway show. Titled the Frayme Mylo™️, it was launched during the sustainable luxury pioneer’s Summer 2022 collection presentation on 4 October during Paris Fashion Week.

Stella and Bolt Threads have been partners in sustainable innovation since 2017, and the luxury house has been part of the Mylo™️ journey since its inception. Combining deep science with high-fashion design, the Frayme Mylo™️ showcases the capabilities of this next-generation material and is the first of many anticipated commercial offerings. The Frayme bag is a new Stella icon – a bold vegan style re-energising classic brand codes inspired by the iconic Falabella tote including an oversized recyclable aluminium chain strap that runs around the bag as well as a zamac statement medallion.

McCartney is part of the Mylo Consortium, that includes Adidas, Lululemon, and Kering—a major fashion group that just ditched fur and manages the development of brands such as Gucci, Saint Laurent, Bottega Veneta, Balenciaga, Alexander McQueen, and more. Last spring, Adidas released a concept Stan Smith sneaker made with Mylo that built on the athletic brand’s recent release of the vegan leather versions of its classic sneakers. Adidas also plans to make a commercial version of its mushroom leather-based Stan Smiths in coming months.

While all vegan leather beats out animal hides in terms of animal cruelty, new plant-based vegan leathers are being developed from a variety of sources to replace environmentally damaging polyurethane. Mexican entrepreneurs Adrián López Velarde and Marte Cázarez developed Desserto from cactus leaves and the innovative vegan leather is now making its way into the fashion world in the form of Fossil tote bags; a reimagined vegan version of of Karl Lagerfeld’s classic K/Kushion bag; and even as vegan leather boxing gloves by athletic brand Sanabul.

In Italy, the wine industry is getting a sustainable makeover thanks to Vegea, which makes vegan leather with its grape byproducts. This luxurious plant-based leather has been featured by several brands, including H&M which debuted a collection of shoes and handbags made with the innovative “wine leather” last year.

Luxury brand Gucci recently went deep into the world of vegan leather by creating Demetra, a new material made from wood pulp. Developed over the course of two years, Gucci’s Demetra is made from 77-percent plant-based raw materials, including wood pulp and viscose, and is tanned in the way leather would be but without animal cruelty or environmental harm. In June, Gucci released three sneaker styles (Basket, New Ace, and Rhyton) to showcase Demetra. 

Circular Economy

Wind turbine blades as bike shelters

Built to withstand hurricane-force winds, wind turbine blades can’t easily be crushed, recycled or repurposed.
As wind turbines age, thousands of blades are coming down from wind towers around the world and most have nowhere to go but landfills. A study conducted by the University of Cambridge estimated that 43 million tonnes of wind turbine blade waste will be generated by 2050, most of which will be disposed of in landfills. China is expected to hold 40 per cent of the world’s waste; Europe 25 per cent; the United States 16 per cent; and the rest of the world 19 per cent.

Europe will decommission 25,000 tonnes of blades a year by 2025, and 52,000 tonnes a year by 2030. WindEurope, an association based in Brussels that promotes the use of wind power in Europe, has called on landfills to ban decommissioned wind turbine blades by 2025.

But all is not lost. Creative ways to reuse wind turbine blades are being found. Denmark Is Cleverly Repurposing Old Wind Turbine Blades as Bike Shelters. Since 90% of Danes owns a bike, bike lockup shelters are a much needed feature of the Danish city and townscape. Advocacy group Re-Wind Network looking at how the rigid blades can successfully be deployed in a wide variety of construction and infrastructure projects, from the aforementioned bike shelters which they constructed in Aalborg, to structural reinforcement, pedestrian footbridges, and traffic guard rails.