Since unpacking.design was born, I felt that discussing circular economy and circular design through blog and social media is not enough. To see the real transition towards circular economy and environment-centered design, live, physical and engaging events must happen. Therefore, on Jan 31, I have kicked-off a series of meetings titled “LET’S GET CIRCULAR!!”.
Why getting circular? AND physical?
I am a big advocate of co-creation workshops. Implementing design-thinking methods outside of design studio is – in my view – the most engaging way to flourish creativity and willingness of people to share amazing ideas, and observations that each and every single one of us make while using products, services and various devices. Moreover, co-creation workshops hosted by brands build bonds. They build ownership. They help to create a sense of co-responsibility among customers and true brand transparency.
Co-creation workshop participants are getting ready to address challenges set by a natural cosmetics brand from Poland, Resibo.
Inspired by “Let’ get Physical” song by Olivia Newton John (yes, a future nostalgist speaking here) I have coined LET’S GET CIRCULAR name for design & co-creation events. It embrace pretty much everything I really care for as an anthropologist, design researcher & environmental activist:
- I believe the real value of a product / service should be created together with people who are using it. I am pretty skeptical about the future existence of brands that don’t listen to people who buy from them. Report from McKinsey tells the same.
- I am devoted to the idea that communication between brands and their “followers” / customers should happen in feedback loops to inform design / strategic decisions. That’s also core product strategy promoted by Ellen MacArthur Foundation and IDEO.
- Brands that claim they really care for the environment and for the people should not be scared of exposing themselves outside of websites and social media. To me, co-creation means first and foremost a physical experience. That’s how brands admit they do not know everything and allow themselves to be receptive for real-life learnings from their customers / followers.
- If we want everybody to commit to a circular economy, we – as business owners, brand creators, and designers – need to talk to everybody about it. The future success of circular economy that consider the environment as a core stakeholder, literally depends on direct engagement from all of us.
The future success of circular economy that consider the environment as a core stakeholder, literally depends on direct engagement from all of us.
“Closing the Loop” Polish premiere and re-design challenge with Resibo
The first meeting consisted of two parts. First, together with Mindspace Warsaw, we have hosted a Polish premiere of “Closing the Loop” documentary. Created by Prof. dr Wayne Visser, a sustainability and CSR expert, the movie shows few case studies of companies from around the world which already implement various circular design strategies inside their businesses. By reusing, remanufacturing or recycling different materials core to their supply chains, companies such as Dutch AWEARness, Novamont or Biogen, are already on the forefront of circular economy.
“Closing the Loop” is the world’s first feature-length documentary film on the circular economy. It was publicly released on Earth Day, 22 April 2018 via and now you can access it on Amazon or Vimeo. For more, check www.closingtheloopfilm.com
The documentary was an inspiring food for thought, and a tribute to the re-design challenge starring Polish natural cosmetics brand, Resibo. Together with its founder, Ewelina Kwit-Betlej, I have prepared tailored co-creation workshop that aimed at looking for various circular opportunities for her business.
Resibo was founded in 2014 in Poland. Since then it has grown to be internationally recognized natural cosmetics brand. Outside of Poland, they are available in Italy and Australia. Image source: Resibo Facebook page.
Event participants (not necessarily Resibo’s customers or target audience) were working inside 4 teams to address Resibo’s environmental concerns in areas as follows:
- online shop & delivery
- physical display & retail
- customer experience
- product packaging.
Inspired by IDEO & Ellen MacArthur Foundation Circular Design Guide, we have used few design methods to guide re-design challenge participants into environment-friendly and financially sustainable solutions. Eventually, each team presented a circular economy-compliant ideas that can help to minimise environmental footprint, slow down the loop of materials flow, or encourage Resibo’s customers to reuse, refill or send back their packaging.
Resibo can be definitely called an environmentally aware brand. They earned Polish Viva certification (confirmed vegan brand) and their cosmetics are cruelty-free. Prior to the co-creation workshop, Resibo has already introduced few business advancements to minimise waste production, both at their production facilities, when delivering their products to customers, and in post-use phase.
I feel very accomplished and ready to organise more co-creation workshops around circular economy principles. I am very much looking forward to see the outcomes of this first workshop both, inside Resibo and from all the creative individuals that participated in the event!
If you want to host another LET’S GET CIRCULAR! meeting promoting circular design, or run a re-design challenge for your business, don’t hesitate to contact me and ask for more details!
BIG THANKS goes to Resibo, Mindspace and Daily Fruits who helped to organise the event. You’re the best! This post is not sponsored by any of the above brands.