Circulate on Fridays: Can China solve fast-fashion & testing the materials passport

Publication Date: 

Friday, 29 September 2017 - 11:00pm


Seb Egerton-Read

It’s Friday! In this week’s roundup of circular economy related stories, we’ve got a piece that highlights the vital importance of better managing the bioeconomy, Forbes asks whether markets like China and India can be successful in their mission to move past fast fashion. There is, of course, plenty more!

“How plastic became a victim of its own success”, author and columnist Tim Harford traces the emergence of plastic as a material, its emergence as something with seemingly unlimited potential and endless applications, and the consequences of this success today. This piece provides interesting context to work aiming to transform the plastics economy today. If you’re interested in hearing more from Harford, he’ll be headlining this year’s Disruptive Innovation Festival.

A Materials Banking prototype is now live as a key output from the €10 million Horizon 2020 project, ‘Buildings as Materials Banks.” The new tool is designed to be a “one-stop-shop” to describe circular economy value across the building cycle, especially for the use and reuse of components and materials.

Meet the New Jersey-based start up, Modern Meadow, that is bringing the potential of synthetic biology to the fashion industry, aiming to unlock powerful business, creative and public relation benefits. Modern Meadow’s lab-fabricated leather is identical, the team behind it discovered that the essential biological component to leather is actually not animal skin, rather it is a growable fibrous structural protein called collagen.

Meanwhile, Forbes argues that India and China may be the solution to the “world’s fast fashion crisis”. Sharon Lam argues that there is actually more willingness to change and transform the industry in these key and still fast-growing markets. Read more about that here.

And finally, the Guardian’s Damien Carrington highlights that the story of mass extinction is also a significant threat to global food supplies. Three quarters of human food consumed comes from just 12 crops and five animal species, plant and animal species that are critical to global food supplies, and new research highlights that up to 1000 cultivated species could be at risk. It further brings the topic of designing better the biological side of the human economy, as part of a wider circular economy, into frame.

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