Circular Economy: How to apply it & Why Product Designers should care | Adil Malik | Skillshare

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Circular Economy: How to apply it & Why Product Designers should care

teacher avatar Adil Malik, MScBA, Financial Analyst

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

6 Lessons (16m)
    • 1. Intro

    • 2. Circular Economy vs Linear Economy

    • 3. Examples of CE Business Models

    • 4. Zero Waste and Regenerative

    • 5. CE in Product Design

    • 6. Becoming Circular as a Business

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About This Class

Do you know what the circular economy is? And if so, are you ready to embrace the future of business?

I invite you to join me in this course and embark with me on a circular journey.

You will learn what circular economy is, discover circular ideas, how all business models are presently shifting and, most importantly, why you must become part of this transformational shift, whether you are an Entrepreneur or a Product Designer.

This course is aimed at providing fundemantal knowledge for people new to the concept, as well as giving examples to inspire you for your own products or business!

Meet Your Teacher

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Adil Malik

MScBA, Financial Analyst


Hello, I'm Adil.

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1. Intro: Hi, My name is Abdul and welcome to the core circular economy, how to apply to your business and why designer should care. The aim of this course is to give you fundamental knowledge about circular economy and relating concepts so that you may apply this to your business or projects. Furthermore, I include examples in the lessons so you can get inspirations from initiatives of others to apply it yourself. This course is split into five parts in Part one. I will talk about circular economy for certain linear economy, but I will explain what they are and how they differ from each other. In Part two, I'll give examples of circular business models so you can understand it better. Part three is about zero waste and regenerative, where I'll explain what zero waste and regenerated far, and I will give some examples about them. Part four is about circular economy in product design. We'll talk about how product designers playing important role in circular economy business models import Fife. I'll explain how companies can become circular by creating a roadmap that has goals and ambitions 2. Circular Economy vs Linear Economy: starting off with circular economy. First, this linear economy, I would like to show this figure at the top. We can see the linear economy where we go from resource extraction, production, distribution and consumption to waste. At the bottom, we see the same cycle. But then, after consumption, we go to reuse or recycle into the recycling sector and eventually end up again at production. This represents the closed loop system in a circular economy where materials are reused or recycled endlessly so at the linear economy, raw materials are used to make a product, and after it's used, any waste is thrown away In a circular economy. Manufacturers designed products to be reusable. Materials are recycled and reused endlessly, which refers to the closed loop system we saw before to give a practical example. Here you see a picture of Unilever's refill station. Unilever is experimenting with the refill system for their shampoos, so consumers buy a bottle of shampoo and then refill it endlessly, which creates a closed loop. This way, the packaging off a shampoo bottles never thrown away, so it will never never end up as waste. Additionally, the bottles are ideally made from recycled plastic or other environment friendly material with recycled plastic. The benefit is that old plastic gets turning into a bottle that then gets never thrown away . But other environmental friendly material also has his benefits, like creating a glass bottle, which can be recycled easier than plastic. The bottom line here is that in a circular economy, the aim is to have no waste. Therefore, reuse does not necessarily equal circular economy. In a circular economy, the loop is closed when no non recyclable waste is produced in the figure below, we can see that in the reuse economy, the waste is simply delayed because it gets reused or recycled a couple of times. But in a circular economy, there is never any waste. In the next section, I will give you some examples of circular business models. See you there. 3. Examples of CE Business Models: Welcome back in this section, I will give some examples off circular business models. An example of a C business model is a birth as a service business model. This business model is one of the most widely used circular economy business models here. Products are sold with a subscription model. After use, the problem is returned to the seller and the use product is recycled into new product. And this new product is sold again to the subscription model, and this process is repeated endlessly. So in this business model, it is clear that the product cycle is closed. We will now look at an example of a product is a service business model. Let's take a look at the application by a company called My Jeans Here. Dean's are created from recycled jeans garment, and they're sold with a permanent base subscription. So customers get teens tend to them every months, three months or year as they wish. The genes are returned to much jeans after wearing there in my jeans. Recycle is the worn down genes into new jeans, and these new genes are sold again. This is a close cycle that continues endlessly. The process uses the same piece of government many times but continues to be creating new genes from old, worn down jeans. The closed loop system is clearly shown in their business model, as the genes are not thrown away but constantly recycled into new jeans, a problem that the rises from using such a business model is down. Cycling down cycling refers to material quality. The Dettori it's after being recycled multiple times. Much jeans and other companies that use the same business model solved this problem by turning the incident insufficient quality material into compost. We can be used as a sole additive, so no non recyclable waste is present in their business model. And they have a very economical use of material because they keep on recycling it until it can be recycled anymore, after which it is turned into compost. So if we compare this with the current situation and we ask ourselves what is happening to jeans at the moment, well, most of it ends up here in landfill, and it is never recycled. It produces methane gas, which is bad for the environment. With the margenes business model, much genes themselves continue to hold ownership over the genes and therefore they collect them at the end of fuse and they turn it into new jeans or into compost, which confuse the soil additive and improve soil quality. It is clear that that is much better than what we see in front of us. And this is again the purpose off. A circular business model do not have any waste at all. The takeaways from this part of the course are that using recycled material, it's not enough to be circular. What happens to the product after it is purchased is important, like we saw with the genes that end up in landfill and no non recyclable waste. It all again means circular. In the next part of the course, I will explain a bit more about zero waste, and I will also talk about the regenerated business models and what they are and give some examples about them. See you in the next part 4. Zero Waste and Regenerative: Hey, everyone, welcome back. I would like to start the part about zero waste and regenerated by explaining what the regenerated business model is. So are regenerated. Business model has a closed group. What we explain before and a positive contribution below. You can see an example for regenerated business model. We can see the diaper cycle, which is called the Dicho. Here and here. Diapers are collected composed. It turned into black humus, which is fed the trees and plants, which then creates healthy food again and turns into baby excretion and biodegradable diapers. So zooming in at the diapers part, we can see a closed loop so the diapers are collected, then turned into compost, which leads to black homers in trees and plants, and the biodegradable new diapers are created from those trees and plants. Therefore, this has a closed loop system. The positive contribution here is the creation of black humus, generally all over the world. Soil quality is decreasing, and we very much need throw additives like black humus to improve our soil quality to provide food for people. So improving soil quality is the first positive contribution in this business model. The 2nd 1 is the healthy food part. So the black who Moses here is specifically used to grow healthy food, which can be used in baby nutrition and is again better for the health off the babies. So this business model delivers to positive contributions. One is improving soil quality, and the 2nd 1 is providing more healthy foods for babies and all of this, in addition to producing no none recyclable waste. So again, a business model is called regenerative when it has both a closed loop and the positive contribution. So a positive contribution can be defined US products having a positive impact beyond the intended use here, we can see an example of paint that cleans the air, but you cannot think about by degradable products that are composed and turning to a soil additive like we saw before. However, this positive contribution can also come from processes in the company, like, for example, a production plant where the water leaves the plant cleaner than it comes in. This is actually applied by some companies where the use of water off river and they actually clean the water make it exit the plant cleaner than it came in. But We can also think about elevators that generate more energy than the use generate. The energy is also a form of positive contribution. Well, there is also carpet that cleans the air or on office with natural light that improves improves employee health. So a positive contribution can be achieved in many ways. And that is also why we speak about the regenerated business model and not necessarily about regenerative product. In the next section of this course, I will talk about circular economy in product design. See you there. 5. CE in Product Design: starting off with the part about circular economy and product design, I would like to share a course from Allan McArtor from the Ellen MacArthur Foundation. She says that architects and designers are absolutely vital in the shift to a circular economy. Product design is key to enabling the circular economy by creating long lasting products. They're easy to reuse and recycle. There are a few core principles to follow when you're designing products for a circular economy. The 1st 1 is efficient. Use off material energy like you saw in the margins. Example. The 2nd 1 is use of recycled or recyclable materials, and the third, it's a designed for repair. Take back of great and disassembly by designing for repair. We aim to extends the life of a product and therefore it takes longer before it gets thrown away with take back. We ensure that the product comes back to the company after use and does not end up in landfill for upgrades. We can think about possibilities to keep the product by changing an element of it, and at last, disassembly is quite crucial. If you want to recycle a product that is made of off different materials since, for example, plastic and glass or recycled in different ways. And if you have a brother that contains both of them, it should be a way to split them to recycled efficiently. So brother designers play a very important role in circular business models and are actually at the core off a circular business model, since they are responsible for designing products that fit the circular economy principles . Let's look at another example off the cotton and corn shoes by Reebok. These shoes are entirely made from cotton and corn. As his name suggests. This also makes a close loop because the shoes are not returned, was simply composed it when our refuse. So you can see that making products compostable is a very easy way to make them circular. And here you see, it applied to a brother group where you wouldn't expect it since, for example, shoes of rubber soles and rubber is definitely not compostable. But by using creativity, you're gonna come up with products like these. So this is a really good example how the use of a different type of material during the product design stage can make a circular product so generally speaking. Probably designers contribute to the circular economy by designing with the closed loop in mind, and they play the most important role. Other parts of business does so by creating take back systems, etcetera. The way to make a product circular highly depends on the products you design. I would like to give you some ideas of our other brother. Designers applied the circular economy principles. The 1st 1 is the use of Leo cell fibers instead of cotton and silk, which is created by a circular process, uses less water and is better compostable. An example of a company that uses leave so fibrous is each in them. The 2nd 1 is to use natural dyes on garments, since chemical dyes can also affect the composed to build your product. So if you use the use or fibers but then apply chemical dye, it could be that the lease or fibers are not as good composers anymore as they naturally are. So composed. Ability is affected by the type of guy you use, and using natural dyes is definitely the way to go within circular economy. Another idea is the use of corn, as we saw before another one is using solar back instead of plastic. You can research what? This Exactly. Yes, and there are many more ideas applied by other people. So make sure to do some research relevant to your field. See what other people use. See what you might apply in your own designs. The next part of this course is focused on becoming circular as a business. See you there. 6. Becoming Circular as a Business: businesses can become circular in many ways. On one hand, your company can adopt a collect, recycle reused business model. On the other hand, your company can adopt biodegradable materials only and motivate customers to compose their products after use, or perhaps a combination like we saw in the mud jeans. Example. Becoming fully circular, we most likely not happen very quickly. It is achieved by setting goals and ambitions and creating a road map. The exact way of doing so depends highly on the type of business. I hope you receive some inspiration from this course to think about your own products. As a problem designer, your business is a business manager. In the following slight, a roadmap is presented of a hypothetical startup. The company called Bio tie, aims to make ties biodegradable and to chief posted contribution. In many ways, I will not stay for too long. You can just pause the video and have a look at it yourself. And that is also the end of this course. I would like to First of all, thank you for participating. I would like to wish you good luck with making your products in business Circular. I hope you at least learned why circular economy is so important and got some inspiration from the initiatives off others. Please leave a review for its course to let me know what you thought about it. And also take a look at my other courses again. Thank you and bye.