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Freedom of Choice: The Circular Economy in Pictures

Freedom. Choice. Design thinking. Packaging design. With 10 billion people soon to be on the planet a transition to a sustainable circular economy is a necessity. It will not be optional if we want to continue with some level of comfort and are to survive as a species. Now, making changes is a choice. Soon it will not be. These choices are made by ordinary people working in companies that matter. And the best thing is, it has been tested and shown to be highly profitable.

The traditional linear economy has been around since the Industrial Revolution.  It takes natural resources, makes products, and when their usefulness is done, the materials are thrown away and become unusable waste with no economic value.

Most of us, when we think about it, feel uncomfortable with the wastefulness of this outdated model, but may be unaware of the alternatives or are too busy with everyday life to do more than basic recycling, which is good, but is not enough.

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The circular economy uses as few initial resources as possible, keeps resources in circulation for as long as possible, extracts the maximum value from them while in use, then recovers and regenerates products at the end of their serviceable life.

As many of the initial materials as possible are from sustainable or recycled sources, and products are designed for longevity with repairability and reusability in mind so that products can be easily dismantled and the parts reused (upcycled) and the materials recycled.

Like sustainability, the circular economy is not an environmental movement.  It is a better business model that benefits businesses, people and communities, and the environment equally.  It is win-win-win by design. 

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Example: One of the many companies that are working on a circular model is Patagonia, their outdoor clothing is made from recycled textile fibers, are reused, refurbished and only then recycled.  And it is made to last a lifetime. You may be familiar with their "Don't Buy This Jacket" campaign.

Examples of how sustainability is being tested and shown to be profitable:



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