DesignMeets: Design and the Circular Economy II

DesignMeets: Design and the Circular Economy II

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What exactly does circularity actually mean for today’s entrepreneurs and businesses?

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What’s Next for the Circular Economy?

Our choices have consequences. As designers, we need to ask ourselves, are our design choices destined to become waste, just the inevitable result of our linear economy? Or can they actually be a part of something better, with an almost endless life in the circular economy? A place where waste is not waste but a valued resource in a closed loop? Right now, all the evidence points to the contrary and that we’re going in the wrong direction.

In industries like fashion and plastics, almost all of our product materials and packaging are quickly turn to waste headed for landfill or the incinerator. The statistics are alarming. In 2020, it’s estimated that California residents bought and wore up to 530,000 tons of clothing, and about 500,000 of those tons went into landfills. In other words, less than one per cent of garments worn today ever become clothes manufactured tomorrow. This is the face of the “take-make-waste” economy and what it means for our world.

It's time for us to make the change and go for the Circular Economy – and sign up to a better economic system that’s sustainable and planet-friendly for the long term. A system that picks conservation over waste, maximizes continuous positive development and optimizes the use of our resources.

“Going circular” is going to take some time. That’s because it involves a transition to a different system of economic life where materials are used endlessly in a closed loop that mirrors a natural ecosystem’s pattern of constant resource turnover and reuse, and zero waste. For the coming generations of circular-minded entrepreneurs, this economy about much more than recycling. It entails reducing, reusing, repairing, refurbishing, remanufacturing, repurposing and regenerating materials and resources, over and over again. And it opens up huge economic possibilities for long-term value creation through market innovations and vastly expanded closed-loop manufacturing opportunities.

What exactly does circularity actually mean for today’s entrepreneurs and businesses? How do they size up the possibilities and opportunities that this circular economy presents? Today, our panel of early-adopters – Kelly Drennan, Scott Morrison and Dihan Chandra – are here to share their thoughts and experiences on the topic and tell us what “circularity” means for them.


Kelly Drennan

Fashion Takes Action, Founder

From the fashion industry, Kelly Drennan is a thought leader and disruptor committed to bringing change to fashion. In 2007, she founded Fashion Takes Action to create a better, more sustainable world for her two daughters. At FTA, her role is to identify the barriers to sustainability for both the industry and consumers and to come up with strategies for overcoming them. She is the co-author of Canada’s textile recycling feasibility report and now leads a group of national stakeholders in a mechanical textile recycling pilot.

Scott Morrison

Muuse, Partner Development Canada

DreamZero, Co-founder

In food and beverages, Scott Morrison is dedicated to taking reusable packaging into the mainstream to demonstrate how the circular economy has all the conveniences for consumers while also cutting back on carbon, water use and waste. He is the Partner Development Canada with Muuse which is a digital reusable packaging system that provides free and convenient reusable takeaway containers to consumers. He is also the co-founder of DreamZero, a social enterprise to develop reuse systems for events.

Dihan Chandra

The Spent Goods Company, Founder

Dihan Chandra is a serial entrepreneur devoted to creating innovative solutions for promoting sustainability and eliminating waste. His first social enterprise, Organic Lifestyle, was focused on developing non-toxic alternatives for the home such as organic pillows, linens and mattresses. He is the founder of The Spent Goods Company which works with organizations to re-imagine food by-products to reduce their carbon footprint and expenses while generating new revenue streams.

Event Format

  • This 60-minute event will take place over Zoom
  • Our speakers will share their thoughts and ideas around what's next for design
  • Panel discussion: questions will be taken from the audience
  • The event will be recorded and posted to the DesignMeets site
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