Greenwashing and the new upcoming EPR legislation work to be done..
There has been a lot of information and new legislation around EPR. I am very happy that this is coming into play not just because our business working with Real Circularity is best placed to help other businesses, well because it will provide the nudge that we need to make new value systems and also for the short term appreciate the wonderful mitigation that re-use businesses and makers can glean from it.
Already we have seen the likes of The Seam and Sojo really start to become a popular choice for mitigation. However without the customer really understanding the skill needed to create this and indeed the price points for REAL ‘craftspersonship’ how does one ‘scale’ that without taking advantage of people? I would also say given that many items that we have to mitigate were of poor quality there will still be a huge percentage to go to waste from re-use. Eventually the re-use will become un-reuseable. This was very much shown in Vestiaire’s announcement that they would not take in fast Fashion or any goods without longevity including the likes of past longevity winners M&S.
Thing is – really it is just that, Re-Use – most items still have a degenerative path in the end regardless of quality & goodness knows the amount of toxins in the items when others are re-purposing and re-manufacturing. Is it safe to cycle will become a question that we will have to start to answer – not just can we cycle it?
The Real work will be done in my eyes in the manufacturing and procurement of items that have been more deeply thought about in the first instance, in terms of their construction, potential options on next use and next use after that – and then a re-manufacture to the same level or movement to another inter industry application. This has to be done not only with a thought to the elements used and where they are from, but to the potential toxins from dyes and processing chemicals. It also must be best fit for each area and item.
The next use – also includes the re-manufacture, the design for ease of deconstruction as well as the evolution.
I personally as a person with a design background am very excited by creating evolution items, not just longevity items, actual evolutionary aspects designed in to the core of products and into the business systems to support next use re-value practices. In our work at Circular Earth we will be bringing a new focus into the arena of design, as we have started to do inside our collaborative The Ecosystem Incubator where we have launched some prototypes that are all about evolution in a regenerative fashion.
We also need to look at the social and the micro to macro elements of laws such as anti greenwashing, when looking at applying certifications especially into the supply chain, many very small regenerative growers are not in the ‘economy of scale’ and therefore will not be able to afford to certify things – how will we let go of top down hierarchical approaches that only support larger corporations, how for this not to become a monopoly ?
I am all for stopping greenwashing, I just wish that marketing could come from a more humble and honest place. Our peers who are regeneratively growing cotton in India with combined small holdings are really pioneers of this – and I shall let Kishore speak to this more potentially in our blogs for the Sanja project – the way that one can create certifications in different ways.
Indeed, the certification bodies in themselves are a ‘business’, we can’t have any Tom Dick or Harry having a certification without first paying through the nose. I have met some organic mills and farmers that have had to let go of paying for certifications because it doesn’t warrant the return or the actual need being taken up – even if they are really organic. I have met others that have seen organic fields being sprayed and yet they are still certified organic. I know why right .. as below
Hence then we get to the Elephant in the Room, The BIG Economic E .. In our Venn Diagrams always shown to be equal to planet and people yet in reality far from it.. We need to address the economic E in micro to macro businesses .. Create new structures and different practices that support all not just those who can pay for it or sit themselves at the top of the tables.
I do feel with the economy of scale approach we still will not see the fullest shift that we will need to see, as we focus on the ways to make things circular rather than the ways to be living and working in a balanced world.
Will we end up with fast Circularity? OR could we be much more thoughtful and creative with our outcomes?
Try on new approaches with us .. we stand with creating new systems and approaches that create an environment for change – that’s not just addressing the product and everything in it, how its designed for evolution, but a NEW systems lead approach that’s holistic and most of all has in-depth thoughts , ideas and research applied.
Recently I was told that Pioneers get shot in the back a lot, I beg to differ, I feel actually that if we show our ways, if we share and collaborate that pioneers can change the damned world.
Virtual Coffee with Rachel Sheila Kan --
Photocredit - The High Res .. wearing Sanja Stories Evolution denim & Ossian Knitware Studio localised hand knitted UK wool