Do you know what circular economy is?
Circular economy is an evolution of the concepts of reuse, recycling, upcycling, and similar concepts - which tried to 'close the loop' of processes that were created by a linear mindset (production - use - discard) - to a systemic change. One that envisions, through a circular production design, to put an end to the generation of residues toxic to the environment, and to pollution, to keep materials and products in use, and to regenerate natural systems.
Ideally, in the Circular Economy, economic activities participate in the construction of a system that is healthy as a whole. That means designing products to last, and also designing them with components that can get back to the natural systems when their cycle of use is (finally) over.
The conceptual universe of the circular economy implies not only technological innovations but also profound paradigm changes, in a world very much based on capitalism and consumerism. It is a concept that, in practice, intends to not only ‘protect’ or ‘conserve’ the natural environments, but also to collaborate with the improvement of these.
Is it realistic to expect that the economy, the industry and the market will effectively complete that conceptual loop in the near future? How is the circular economy being implemented in the world currently? What are the advancements that the industry and businesses around the world have done in the direction of that concept? What materials and new ways of production are already in practice that can be considered “circular”?
Paulo Henrique Cardoso, José Guilherme Teixeira, and Nicola Blum have been invited to answer these questions and explore the topic further. The moderation will be made by Gabriela Machado.
José Guilherme TeixeiraFounder and Manager, Cotton Move
Founder and manager at Cotton Move, a company of circular projects and products in the textile industry. Graduated in Fashion with a minor in Marketing, and with over three decades of experience in product development and management of supply chains in the national and international textile industry. A pioneer in sustainable textile production in Brazil, acting since 1999, and in certificated circular products in the delivery chain of cotton and jeans.
Paulo Henrique CardosoCEO, Polimex Bioplásticos
CEO at the startup Polimex Bioplásticos (Bioplastics), which works on the development of biodegradable materials, aiming for improvements in social welfare and the environment. A young entrepreneur focused on project management, commercial strategy, and product development. Graduated in Chemistry from IFRJ, and PhD in Materials Engineering from COPPE-UFRJ.
Nicola BlumSenior researcher, ETH Zurich
Senior researcher and lecturer at the Group for Sustainability and Technology at ETH Zurich. She is and has been on the board and in the management of several ventures such as Impact Hub Zurich and STRIDE Learning. Her current work focuses on the sustainable circular economy with a focus on the construction industry.
Journalist specialized in Communications and Environmental Education, and in Communications and Fashion Marketing. Circular Economy enthusiast, researcher, and creator of content on sustainability and circularity, especially in the fashion context. Since 2019, she has been curating content for Brazil Eco Fashion Week. Also works in communication for Cotton Move, a company that provides textile circular solutions.