A Solution For Our Sick Planet: The Circular Economy

Everyday we get bombarded with news about unpredictable weather, social unrest and economic fluctuations. What are we doing wrong? Why does it seem that everything is falling apart? One reason that comes to mind is the linear economy within our society that focuses on buy-use-waste. The overproduction and overconsumption stemming from this leads directly to environmental and social turmoil.

At RubyMoon we think there is a solution to this problem; moving towards a circular economy, an economy with recycling, reusing and local production at its core.

Can you imagine a world based on a circular economy? It all starts with saying ‘what if’.

What if the UK relied entirely on sustainable resources? What if the deindustrialized North of England was the centre of sustainable manufacturing and local production? There would be more jobs and less unemployment, no pollution, a cleaner environment, affordable and secure energy and a better quality of life for everyone.

The linear economy and the industries within it are steadily destroying the planet and the people within it. The worst polluting industries include Energy (burning of fossil fuels), Transportation, Industry & Production (e.g. fashion) and Agriculture (primarily livestock). These produce excessive amounts of carbon dioxide, greenhouse gases and more broadly climate change.

Glaciers melting, Australia bushfires, droughts in Africa and pollution and acidiffication of our oceans are all believed to be generated by decades of the human linear economy.

The Zombie

Think about this next question. Can you honestly say you’re happy with your job and your life in general?

The linear economy also affects people mentally and physically. The majority of the world doesn’t actually enjoy their job. People are likely to feel stressed, depressed or have a mental instability at some stage in their life. Some are even deeply unhappy, viewing their life as meaningless and repetitive. The linear economy is based on ‘buy-use-waste’ cycle. Similarly, our day-to-day life can be summarized as ‘work-eat-sleep’.

A lot of us are zombies, sleepwalkers existing in a world without pleasure- pushed into believing that happiness can be ‘bought’ with ‘things’; clothes, cars and material goods.

The linear economy also adversely affects people from developing countries, forced to move due to climate change and depleting natural resources. These climate refugees go through hell fueled by the hope of life in a western country. The same countries that have played the most prominent roles in destroying their homes and futures.

But there is hope!

Hope for the Future: The Circular Economy

The circular economy can be seen as a better alternative to the existing linear one. As opposed to the present structure, this model proposes to keep resources circulating for as long as possible whilst withdrawing the maximum value from them. This framework also plans to recover, recycle and regenerate materials and used products so to decrease or even put an end to waste accumulation. The three main principles of the circular economy are

  • Eliminate waste and pollution
  • Keep materials and products in use as much as possible
  • Regenerate natural resources
  • Automatically reduce carbon use

The circular economy is a promising alternative for the planet and its people.

RubyMoon is Part of the Solution

RubyMoon incorporates the three principles of the circular economy in manufacturing. We made ourselves part of the solution, not the problem. Our business model also includes 9 out of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) produced by the UN in 2015.

 

 

 

RubyMoon also invests in social aspects to improve the quality of life for different communities around the world. For example, all the manufacturing occurs in Europe for two main reasons.

  1. To help the environment by lowering carbon emissions (reduced by 42%)
  2. To make sure that working conditions are fair for those who belong to the RubyMoon community.

RubyMoon also provides microloans to women in developing countries so they can start or improve their own business. We choose women because they’re more likely to spend the money gained on housing, nutrition and education, making it beneficial not only for them but also for their entire community.

RubyMoon is part of the circular economy in these additional ways:

  1. We produce our garments with retrieved ghost fishing nets from the ocean. This material gets regenerated to create garments and eliminate waste
  2. Once a loan is repaid, RubyMoon can invest in other women, so the same money can go round and round.

One Step Towards More Ethical Businesses

ESG stands for Environmental, Social and Governance. These criteria are used by socially conscious investors to set standards for a company’s operations.

  • Environmental criteria include energy use, pollution and treatment of animals. It can also be used by investors to understand the ecological risks a company might face in the future.
  • Social criteria include working conditions and relationships with employees, donations to communities, sharing values with suppliers etc.
  • Finally, Governance criteria include accurate accounting methods and the prohibition of illegal practices.

The ESG criteria are becoming increasingly popular. More and more investors use this certificate to choose potential investments as they noticed the shift in citizen consciousness.

B Corp is a social and environmental certification that focuses on balancing purpose and profit by taking into consideration employees, suppliers, community and the environment. This certification is becoming increasingly popular as more people want to work or invest in businesses that they believe in; businesses that can be a force for good. With a B Corp certification, companies can stand out from the rest while promoting trust, value and credibility.

Are You Ready for a Change?

The linear economy isn’t working. It’s producing social inequalities and environmental destruction. But as we’ve seen, there is a possible solution for our sick planet: the circular economy. This structure would eliminate waste and pollution, use materials as much as possible and regenerate products.

If businesses start shifting to this new alternative model, we will be able to cure our home and create a better living standard for everyone.

Let’s give it a shot.

Last but not least…

Look out for our ‘Circular Economy For People’ blog coming next- the circular journey from a people’s perspective.

The post will discuss how to include the stakeholders in the circular economy and how to make it an appealing paradigm change for the citizens of the world. It will also delineate a possible blueprint on how it would be to work within this type of economic model.

Interested?

 

 

Bibliography

Websites

CGLytics. (2020). ESG criteria: What they are and how they affect companies and investors. [online] Available at https://cglytics.com/what-is-esg/ [Accessed 21 Jan. 2020].

Ellenmacarthurfoundation.org. (2020). What is a Circular Economy? | Ellen MacArthur Foundation. [online] Available at https://www.ellenmacarthurfoundation.org/circular-economy/concept [Accessed 21 Jan. 2020].

Investopedia. (2020). Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) Criteria. [online] Available at: https://www.investopedia.com/terms/e/environmental-social-and-governance-esg-criteria.asp [Accessed 21 Jan. 2020].

Towards the circular economy. (2020). From linear to circular—Accelerating a proven concept. [online] Available at https://reports.weforum.org/toward-the-circular-economy-accelerating-the-scale-up-across-global-supply-chains/from-linear-to-circular-accelerating-a-proven-concept/ [Accessed 21 Jan. 2020].

Weetman, C. (2020). Circular Economy Podcast | Jo Godden | Recycled Ocean Plastics. [online] Rethink Global. Available at: https://www.rethinkglobal.info/reycled-ocean-plastics-jo-godden-rubymoon/ [Accessed 21 Jan. 2020].

Wrap.org.uk. (2020). WRAP and the circular economy | WRAP UK. [online] Available at https://www.wrap.org.uk/about-us/about/wrap-and-circular-economy [Accessed 21 Jan. 2020].

Images

Noun Project. (2020). Noun Project. [online] Available at: https://thenounproject.com/ [Accessed 23 Jan. 2020].

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