The Circular economy - explained

Our planet cannot support the business as usual any longer. The linear ‘take-make-waste’ business model uses scarce resources to make products that are used once and then wasted. A new, purpose-driven perspective on waste and how we consume more sustainably is needed.  

Circular economy gives us the keys for living more sustainable, cleaner and safer life. Circularity is taking space as a business model for the future, securing sufficiency of natural resources by extending the life cycle of valuable materials and preventing waste to be created at source. Waste is scaled up, meaning it is transformed into resource and useful materials are prevented from ending up to the landfill.  

Circular business model is designing, making, using and reusing things within planetary boundaries. Focusing on solutions rather than problems has resulted in different ways to scale up waste into valuable resources. Upcycling, downcycling and precycling are all variations of recycling which aims to improve efficiency of resource use and minimize landfill waste by ‘closing the loop’. 

1 - Upcycling 

Upcycling is repurposing new products from existing products and materials. As part of sustainable fashion, upcycling is anticipating and imagining new purposes for existing products and available excess materials from manufacturing industries. For necessary products it is reusing the ingredients that have been wasted such as coffee. Wait a minute, we include products that do this, maybe we are ahead of the curve or just know good quality and environmental credentials. Someone’s trash is someone else’s treasure. Upcycling processes used either pre-consumer waste, post-consumer waste, or both. Leftover materials from manufacturing or unwanted garments that are taken out from the waste-cycle can be upcycled to new, creative, better quality products than their original purpose. Some of the best fashion brands are Stay Wild Swim for women and Surplus for men 

2 - Downcycling 

Downcycling refers to a process where, for example, discarded textiles are used as a base to make new garments. Textile or discarded clothing is shredded into yarn and then used to create new textiles consisting of only recycled material or a mix of virgin and recycled yarn. Downcycling inevitably leads to loss of quality due to the materials’ separation process. With product optimal design and how easy it is to separate materials from each other, makes the downcycling process more resource and energy efficient. However, any item that is no longer wanted or utilized in its original purpose can be given another life by downcycling it and using it as a component in new, innovative and functional products. A good company for adults that reuses food waste is Toast Ale

3 - Precycling 

Precycling is preventing waste to be generated already at source. Basically, precycling stops the need for recycling because all products that are eventually purchased have a clear purpose. Buying less and for a real need only, results in sustainable and more conscious consumption patterns. Each refused or avoided single-use product, such as a plastic bag or a disposable coffee cup, takes part to the precycling action. Production of reusable, long-lasting and high quality products contribute actively to sustainable consumption that aims at lowering harmful environmental impacts. This is precycling – inviting consumers to use what they already have for longer. 

What is similar with these variations of recycling is that they all aim at refusing, reducing, reusing or repurposing waste by creating value from trash. Waste needs to be properly sorted before upcycling or downcycling processes. Precycling, on the other hand, is preventing waste to be generated already before the purchase situation. Thinking holistically about the impacts of every item produced and consumed, their purpose in a long-term, their design and end of life are extremely important steps in reducing waste.  

By respecting what we already have is a huge opportunity and it contributes efficiently to taking better care of our planet. The production and consumption habits need to become circular making sure that our scarce resources are sustainably used and valuable materials returned back to the multi-cycle model of circular economy. No waste is left behind. 

We aim to help you live in a circular way by providing the glass spray bottles and through the sachets which reduce waste. This amongst other products which have ingredients already used such as the wonderful Upcircle which repurposes coffee beans, apricot stones and olive stones. To receive one of these cute products simply tick the add-on section or tell us you want skincare as a surprise product. Give the circular economy a go and love repurposing products to stay being eco friendly and contribute less waste, chemicals or plastic into the world. 

Read next story