The John Lewis Partnership, in collaboration with the environmental charity Hubbub, has revealed the winners of its £1 million Circular Future Fund, which was established to stimulate creative approaches to waste reduction and product lifespan extension.
Four projects have been recognized for their ability to 'design out' waste and extend the life cycle of diverse products, thus contributing to the Fund's goal of fostering a circular economy.
In addition to providing funding to each of the winners' initiatives, the environmental charity Hubbub has announced that it will track the effect of each donation, assisting each project in reaching its objectives.
The winners will each get a portion of the £1 million Circular Future Fund, which was raised from the sale of 10p bags. The fundraising competition was established in November 2021, with the purpose of finding'scalable' initiatives that take alternative methods to the linear'make...use...throw-away' process.
Pip and Henry, a sustainable footwear business, was among the winning proposals. Given that a young kid's shoes are replaced every four months on average, with 85 percent of those shoes ending up in a landfill, the business is developing designs for expandable shoes that grow with the child. This is believed to reduce the need for replacement.
The University of Leeds' 'Polyester Infinity' will also receive a share of the fund. With polyester being the world's most consumed textile fiber and recovered polyester accounting for just 15% of total output, The Leeds Institute of Textiles and Colour is working on a technique to separate the dyes that make recycling difficult. To separate the colours, CO2 technology will be used.
DAME's new period product offering was one of the winning projects. The firm will launch a campaign and a new digital platform to educate and help customers in making the conversion to a menstrual cup, which is presently used by only 5% of women with periods.
The Scottish Library and Information Service recommended 'Lend and mend places' as the ultimate winner of the Circular Future Fund (SLIC). Inspired by Norway's 'People's Workshops,' SLIC wishes to establish a trial program of up to ten circular economy community spaces within libraries, complete with workshops, lending facilities, and repair centers.
The aforementioned awardees were chosen by 'The Grant Panel,' which was comprised of eight industry professionals, including senior executives from John Lewis & Partners, and with assistance from Hubbub. In all, 245 initiatives applied for the fund, with eight chosen to pitch to the jury and four organizations receiving funds.
Marija Rompani, Director of Ethics and Sustainability at the John Lewis Partnership said that their throw-away culture and the waste it creates are definitely among the largest issues we will face in our lifetime, and overcoming them will take a different sort of thinking. All of these inspiring projects have the potential to make a meaningful difference and give useful learnings in advocating the critical need to embrace a more circular way of life. They want to assist these wonderful ideas to bloom for the long-term benefit of them all with the cash provided for the coming year.
Saskia Restorick, Director of Hubbub said that it is crucial to rethink waste at this critical moment for the environment, which involves looking at new ways to value the commodities they generate, buy, and consume. The fund's quality and the number of entries have demonstrated the wealth of ideas available and given us genuine optimism that things may be done differently. The four winners have the potential to make a significant and creative effect on a national and potentially global scale, and they look forward to assisting them in realizing their ambitions.
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