Newsletter – January 2022

Resource efficient packaging

Don’t be fooled into investing in less-bad ways of operating.

At the moment markets and systems can’t support truly sustainable manufacturing or construction so often the best we can do is limit our impact.

This in itself isn’t a bad thing, as long as we’re aware that it’s transitory and will need revising as the business landscape progresses.

Using reused or recycled material is a perfect example of this. It’s (nearly) always better to use such material instead of virgin but it’s not sustainable in of itself. To be truely sustainable the material needs to be reused / recycled AND be capable of being reused or recycled multiple times. It also needs to sit in a system that supports multi-life reuse or recycling AND provide for safe disposal at the end of it’s functional life, when ALL of the value has been extracted out of it.

It’s this process we need to invest in, while capitalising on the market value and cost-savings of incremental, ‘less-bad’ steps along the way.

Not sure how to become genuinely more sustainable. Message me for a chat at

And now for this month’s circular design & economy news ……

Cotton farmers in Brazil see yield increase 3 fold as they shift to agroecology methods 

3D printing of recycled mineral foam reduces emissions of concrete use by up to 70%

Veolia announces its first electric vehicle battery recycling plant in UK

Rich nations could see ‘double climate dividend’ by switching to plant-based foods

Hottest ocean temperatures in history recorded last year 

US customers can now turn their old Timberland boots into new Timberland boots 

Researchers produce Leather-like Textile from Fungus on Bread Waste!

Vollebak tints T-shirt using carbon-storing algae ink

An excellent overview of the true state of sustainable fashion globally

A Zara brand launches a little black dress partly made out of carbon emissions collected from steel mills

10 designs for fossil-fuel-free cars in 2021

Rollor Packaging is an innovative package design that rolls up into a hexagonal shape (see photo above).

Levis are now able to make recyclable jeans partially made from post-consumer jeans

The Irish Green Building Council sets up a Construction Materials Exchange to facilitate material reuse in Construction 

Hazel is a little sachet that travels with fresh fruit and veg, emitting chemicals that inhibit decomposition thereby increasing shelf-life

McDonalds opens their first zero carbon restaurant in the UK. The company has also pledges to have a “market-leading vegan, plant-based food and drinks offering” by 2025.

Cleverly the new range of recycled polyester fabric from Vescom combines coloured yarn with grey to reduce the amount of waste yarn created

Fantastic article on what to consider when setting up a resale / rental offering

Stakeholder consortium Full Circle Textile Project is to focus on scaling up Polyester Recycling


Till next time


Published by Elaine Butler

I am a circular design consultant helping manfacturers prepare for the circular economy