Newsletter Dec 22

Christmas Wreath

I’m so saddened to announce the death of a dear friend and colleague, Mr Bill Vernon, secretariat of the Irish Wood and Interiors Network. I met Bill while researching for my Masters in 2019 and straight away was blown away by his knowledge and generosity of spirit. Hands down he was the one of the best human beings I have ever met and the world is a poorer place without him.

I am so grateful to him for inviting me to work on IWIN’s circular upholstery textile project and really enjoyed the factory tours we undertook together. I learned so much for him, but not enough.  I’m so sad to be heading into 2023 without having this giant of a man to work alongside.

And now back to circular design & business news, which Bill was a great champion of ……

Blowing my Own Trumpet

In November one of the projects I’d been working on for more than 15months concluded. It was a pilot project on furniture reuse by an original manufacturer and a third party, funded by IMR through their Circuleire programme. The project involved 3 partners, Farrell Furniture (my client), the OPW and ATU.

I attended my first meeting of Working Group 10, who are drafting a European standard for Furniture Disassembly. At these meetings, I am representing the Belgium non-profit ECOS, an international NGO with a network of members and experts advocating for environmentally friendly technical standards, policies and laws.

I was asked to join the judging panel for the Irish Business Design Challenge, which this year is going to be focussed on sustainability!


The government have recently launched a Growth and Sustainability Loan Scheme which will offer competitively priced loans of between €25k and €3m, with the aim of encouraging SMEs to take positive actions in support of the climate change agenda.


New Zealand company Happier Beauty have developed a refillable toothpaste dispenser

UK horticultural products retailer Dobbies partners with manufacturer elho to provide a plant pot recycling scheme

Scottish police worried that Deposit Return Schemes could be targeted by organised crime gangs

ASDA has issued guarantee that refill product will be cheaper than packaged alternatives

From January 1st, Norwegian supermarkets will be required to unpackage waste food wrapped in plastic before disposal.

Are you ready for the new packaging EPR scheme that comes into effect in the UK on Jan 1st, 2023?

Consumer Goods

US brand Mara Hoffman steps closer to synthetic-free swimwear

“First” commercially available 100% ocean plastic pellet produced

Apple launches self service repair in Europe

Sofology release easy-to-disassemble sofa made from plant-based and recycled materials

A recent study reported that championing durability will likely do better in connecting consumers’ needs with the needs of the planet

Just discovered that the outdoor clothing brand Columbia has a ‘Outgrown Extend System‘ which has upturned sleeves and legs that you can let down as your kids grow.

Dells new design for their Concept Luna laptop making it easier to repair by humans and robots.

Ebay have partnered with online resale platform ACS to make clothing resale easier. Now you can shop for audited pre-owned clothing by brand, with Monsoon being the first to join.

Circular strategies could cut emissions from materials used in vehicles by 60% by 2040


In the UK Green Jobs growing at 4 times the pace of the overall employment market


As of last month all large companies in the EU will need to disclose data on the impact of their activities on people and the planet and any sustainability risks they are exposed to. The rules will start applying between 2024 and 2028

From 1st January 2023, the Agec law (anti-waste for a circular economy) in France will prohibit single-use tableware (even if it is cardboard) in fast food establishments with more than 20 covers for meals eaten on site

In a positive move away towards transparency the European Commission has adopted a proposal for a first EU-wide voluntary framework to reliably certify high-quality carbon removals.

Lemmers of Dutch hotel chain Conscious Hotels predicts that changes in legislation will soon give eco-minded hotels a competitive advantage over rivals


Using timber elements IPUT Real Estate complete Ireland’s First Net Zero Logistics Warehouse

Timberspec have launched a free CPD series on designing and building with timber


Love the ingenuity of using underwater sculptures to prevent illegal bottom trawlers


Tesco set up online exchange marketplace for suppliers

Free Circular Fashion course by the University of Art in London

IGBC have launched a construction material exchange platform CMEx. I attended a webinar about the platform and the it looks great but at the webinar I learned that donators will probably have to apply for an end-of-life licence with the EPA to exchange the materials, and receivers might need to have a waste transportation licence in order to collect them, both of which can take up to a year to obtain. I really can’t understand how the government expects material exchange to work with this sort of restriction.


The 2022 Earthshot winners include a flat pack greenhouse and seaweed packaging

A call for the Irish Business Design Challenge 2023 has just been launched and this year it’s focused on sustainability.

Why Heinz spent 185,000 hours redesigning this ketchup bottle cap


Have a wonderful Christmas and if you’d like to discuss any of these issues  in 2023 feel free to get in touch via our contact page.


Published by Elaine Butler

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