Who says that turning in circles is bad for your business? Definitely not us.

The last 10 years have been about the challenges of digital transformation, and today at Goodpatch, we believe that the next big transformation will be in sustainability.

With more signals emerging, from the European Green Deal to increasing numbers in green tech investments, this new shift is already in motion. To tackle sustainability challenges, we all need to shift our mindset from a human-centered design approach to a planet-centric design approach. The planet-centric design mindset helps to think beyond the user and consider a broader ecosystem.

Now you might be wondering: how can I, as a company, apply this mindset in the work I do? This is where the principles of the Circular Economy come in!

Start by thinking circular, not linear

Circular Economy presents a way to improve the business model of a company by rethinking the entire cycle of its products and services as well as the way of operating. The aim of Circular Economy is to achieve higher resources efficiency through the reduction of waste and energy consumption. As you can see in the graphic below, the idea is to create new loops to move from a linear to a circular model.

From linear to circular

The transition to a circular business model can benefit businesses by increasing customer preference through a new value proposition and offers financial benefits through increased efficiency by reducing costs in the long run.

Let’s look how it is actually done

Whether you are a product company, service provider, or facilitator, there are circular opportunities to discover along the value chain! Here is how three different types of companies all enable circularity in the apparel industry:

All three companies are enabling circularity in their own way by tackling one or more parts of the value chain.

  • On running is collecting shoes to recycle them into new ones, thanks to their innovation in materials and design. Their business model also works with a subscription plan that allows them to retain the ownership of their products and, at the same time, continuously offer their customers shoes of the highest quality.
  • Rent the Runway connects customers with brands and lets them rent clothes instead of buying them. This brings more value to the clothes and more loyalty from consumers.
  • Circularity.ID helps businesses and consumers know what materials are in their garments and clothing and where and how they were made. With this information, more companies can ensure fair production and sustainable materials and also work with the information in case of cleaning, repairing or recycling of the product.

These examples prove that everyone has a role to play in the circular ecosystem.

How to get started?

Beginnings are always tricky and require more effort. But we can say that once you start, you have taken a big step towards results. The first step we suggest is to figure out your own circular opportunities. There are some really helpful tools for this that not only get you started, but are specifically tailored to sustainability challenges.

Our design strategist, Ieva and Léa made a plan for you. Here are three great tools they selected to get you started. Take 20 minutes per tool, and in an hour, you will already have an idea of what your business could be under a circular lens.

  1. Start by filling up the worksheet from the Circular Design Guide created by Ellen McArthur Foundation and IDEO to discover your Circular Opportunities.
  2. Then, use the circular storyboard imagined by the Danish Design Center to design one opportunity discovered in the first step.
  3. Lastly, go through the Circular Economy Pattern Cards from the BMI Lab to bring new ideas on how to innovate the business model link to your new solution.

Let us know how it worked out for you! We would be happy to discuss your experience with the suggested tools.

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Written by

Léa and Ieva


Léa and Ieva







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