Exploring the Circular Economy

IKEA is transitioning to the Circular Economy model. The Kungsbacka kitchen fronts are made entirely from 100% recycled FSC(R) certified wood and PET-bottles.
IKEA KUNGSBACKA kitchen fronts are made entirely from 100% recycled FSC(R) certified wood and PET-bottles.

Have you guys heard of the Circular Economy? Does anyone have any idea what the Circular Economy is? I didn’t until a few months ago but I’d noticed it popping up quite frequently so I decided that I needed to find out more about this concept. And I wasn’t disappointed as it is a super interesting topic and one that I felt everyone in the design industries should be aware of. In fact, given the enormity of the impending environmental crisis, I think everyone, in general, should be more aware of this new economic model.

Really has adopted the Circular Economy model. It upcycles end-of-life textiles to create viable new materials that can be recycled again and again.
Really upcycles end-of-life textiles to create viable new materials that can be recycled again and again.

In June, an article I wrote about the Circular Economy appeared in Designer Kitchen & Bathroom magazine. In it, I explored the need for a transition away from a linear economic model that relies on cheap, widely available resources to create favourable conditions for economic growth and stability. I examined the need to move towards a more circular model that can decouple economic growth and revenues from consumption of resources.

I hunted high and low for examples of companies who are attempting to make their processes and their products not only more sustainable but more circular in nature. This involves a 5 R approach — repair, reuse, refurbish, remanufacture, and recycle.

Reform operates a Circular Economy model by collaborating with Lendager Group to reuse the surplus wood from Danish flooring manufacturer Dinesen to create their UP kitchen.
Reform collaborates with architecture firm Lendager Group and uses the surplus wood from Danish flooring manufacturer Dinesen to create their UP kitchen.

My article is actually a really interesting read and I’m not just saying that because I wrote it. I spent days researching the topic, reading every article I could find and speaking to people who have first-hand experience of the circular economy.

If you fancy giving it a read you can find the full article here:

If you do read it, please let me know what you think. And definitely let me know if there are any more companies you are aware of that are embracing the circular model.

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  • Thanks for sharing the pdf article, Stacey. I didn’t know much about the concept but you dug deep into it and put together a fab piece.

    Sorry if this is a duplicate comment. I’m not sure if the other one went through.

    • Thanks Juan. This is what I love to do more than anything. Writing really in-depth pieces about more complicated issues. I;m really excited to see how things develop with the circular economy. It just makes so much sense for the environment, for consumers and for business.