In view of finite resources and the issue of climate change, the buzzword "circular economy" is often mentioned. But what is it actually? In this article, we explain to you what the alternative to a throwaway society is all about and where NIKIN is already behaving "circularly".
The term "Circular Economy" has increasingly become the focus of public attention in recent years. Especially since the effects of growing consumption are becoming more and more apparent to industry and consumers. The European Parliament estimates that the production of everyday goods accounts for 45% of CO2 emissions. But what is a circular economy anyway?
What is the circular economy?
Acircular economy is a system in which products are not simply consumed and disposed of. Instead, products are maintained or repaired as often as possible, and finally broken down into their components at the end of their life and recycled. Such an economy requires a paradigm shift in several areas compared to the linear economy.
Circular economy concerns all sectors
For a circular economy to be worthy of its name, different standards must already apply to the design of goods. Currently, the lifetime of most consumer goods is limited. From cars to hand mixers, many things break within a certain period of time - so that the customer buys a newer model. A change would have to take place here, towards goods that can be modified and repaired. Shared use via sharing concepts, such as car or bike sharing, is also part of the circular way of thinking. For entrepreneurs, this opens up challenges on the one hand, but later brings with it the renunciation of global supply chains and their possible disruption. The supposed loss of revenue due to the absence of new product offerings can also be compensated for by other services - software providers have been doing this for a long time.
What seems new today was once the norm
In fact, with a willingness to rethink, a circular economy is probably easier to realise than the representatives of the linear economy would have us believe. One example is plastic bottles and their recycling. In the past, it was common practice to sell drinks in returnable glass bottles and crates. Those who needed drinks for the road used a multi-purpose bottle.
Circular business in the fashion world
A few decades ago, the fashion world was also more circular. Because while today "throwaway fashion" is consumed and replaced within a few weeks, people used to buy long-lasting quality pieces. Clothes lasted for years, were occasionally mended or adjusted. Some department stores had their own tailoring services. A good pair of shoes was resoled at the shoemaker's, but never thrown away. However, this always-use-again mentality is making a comeback. The German start-up Circular.fashion, for example, has created a Circularity.ID so that in future customers will know where best to return their old garments. NIKIN is also trying to produce more circularly on several levels and make better use of resources.
This is what we doWe are not perfect, but we are moving in the right direction. We have already established processes and measures in the sense of a circular economy at various levels, be it distribution, design, collection or reuse and repair. For more details, take a look at the graphic above. Our latest collection, the Reuse Collection, which goes online on 14 September, is also partly made from recycled waste materials from older productions and is thus a symbol for a more conscious use of our resources and goods.
You can find the Reuse Collection online in our webshop from Tuesday, 14 September 2021. Stay tuned: in the coming week, you will also find an interview with the expert Prof. Dr. Tobias Stucki on the circular economy as well as an article with tips and tricks on how you can make your everyday life more circular.