Topic 2 Case studies

In addition to the good practices previously mentioned we intend to present further practical examples that demonstrate how the EC can be implemented with implications from the employment point of view.

Case Study 1: A wardrobe in the cloud
Customers want flexibility, convenience and the latest styles, but high turnover of clothing by China’s urban middle classes is costly both to customers and the environment. Online clothing subscription service leveraging China’s well developed e-commerce infrastructure. Ycloset has formed collaborative partnerships and harnessed digital technology to create a circular business model that keeps clothes in use for longer. Customers can change their clothes regularly without the high associated social and environmental impacts.

Case Study 2: Brewing beer from surplus bread
Over 30% of food is wasted, representing a significant loss in value but also leading to many potential externalities. How can we make more effective use of our food resources?. Discarded bread can be used to replace a third of the malted grain used in beer brewing. The startup Toast Ale have an unusual and appealing idea of how to combat this problem – by brewing beer. It’s a relatively simple process, so much so that the first batch of Toast Ale was arranged in just 10 days by Founder Tristram Stuart and his team. The company start by collecting surplus bread from delis, bakeries and sandwich makers. It’s then incorporated into the brewing process with malted barley, hops, yeast and water.

Case Study 3: Pioneering a lease model for organic cotton jeans
The rise of ‘fast fashion’ has meant that clothes utilisation rates have declined steeply since 2000. Furthermore, less than 1% of material used to produce clothing is recycled into new clothing, with a loss of USD100 billion/year. MUD jeans are made from 40% recycled content, the material is derived from discarded jeans. The jeans are offered on a subscription model, so that repairs are free, and users can swap their jeans for a new pair. More flexibility for customers; more predictable material supply chain for MUD. Lower environmental impact associated with jeans.

To complete the package of tools available to the learner we will present learning tools that will allow identifying how individual changes can add up to help achieve bigger sustainability wins, and how we can apply aspects of the circular economy to our personal lives. These tools are coming from “The Circular Classroom” a free, multilingual educational resource designed to offers the opportunity to think differently about how we design products, how the economy works, how we meet our needs as humans, and how to support the development of more creative professional roles that help to design a future that is about social, economic, and environmental benefits.

  • The Disruptive Design Method: The Disruptive Design Method supports creative changemakers in deeply understanding a problem or phenomenon before they attempt to solve it by diving deep under the obvious parts and seeking out all the experiential information, they need to then put together a bird’s eye view of the opportunities, issues, and potential arena for change.  
  • Experiential and phenomena-based learning: The idea of experiential and phenomena-based learning intends to challenge the dominant mode of teaching and bring experiential education to the forefront. Furthermore, teachers are urged to use their initiative to figure out what each student needs to succeed.

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