Issue No.
6

Focus

Designing the irresistible circular society

The green transition is a puzzle with many pieces, and the shift to a circular economy is acutely necessary - or by 2050, we will need three planets to sustain our present ways of living.

At its core, circularity is about refusing the linear take-make-waste model and replacing it with one that is regenerative by design. This means reducing, reusing, redesigning, and recapturing our already scarce resources.

Circularity must be more than just a buzzword or a short-sighted marketing strategy. We need it to be measurable, realistic, and approachable. But, most importantly, the circular society must be irresistible.

Danish frontrunners set the bar high for circularity across industries. From production screening tools and rentable furniture to recycled fashion and urban biodiversity – these companies develop valuable and attractive solutions that support a more sustainable future for us all.

Reduce, reuse, recycle. Overconsumption and waste are issues in many industries. Particularly in the fashion industry, the environmental footprint is a major concern. By focusing on strategies to reduce the consumption of products and materials, reusing fabrics and unsold styles, and recycling pre-owned pieces of clothing, this footprint can be reduced significantly and efficiently. Read on to discover how.

Designed to last. The principle of design for disassembly ensures products that are flexible and long-lasting. High-quality design, where elements can easily be repaired or replaced, can last a lifetime and be altered according to the needs of both the current and the future consumer.

Our circular future

What does a circular society of the near future look like? We believe that we need to figure it out together - because the future should be for all of us. Therefore, in collaboration with other ambitious actors within circularity, we would like to suggest a vision where we own fewer things, downsize our homes, and share communal spaces.

This short animation showcases a Danish take on how to accelerate the transition to the irresistible circular society.

Målbar's highly advanced digital tool measures products' CO2e (carbon dioxide or equivalent). The uniquely user-friendly tool allows companies to screen products on three precision levels, making it possible to obtain valuable results without completing the traditional resource-heavy life cycle assessment.

Explore Målbar here.

The Målbar screening tool is unique in that it measures the CO2e footprint of all industrial production; even difficult to measure furniture and fashion products containing natural materials can be assessed by the tool’s advanced algorithms.

2 Finsbury Avenue sits in the largest pedestrianised neighbourhood in Central London. The design team behind it, led by 3XN Architects and sister company GXN Innovation, are applying pioneering circular principles to ensure long-term flexibility, prolonged building life, and minimal waste and resource footprints of the project.

Explore GXN Innovation in our white paper here.

If we cannot make circular things that are beautiful, no one will want them.

Lasse Lind, architect, and partner in GXN Innovation

Get to know Lasse Lind and GXN Innovation in this short video.

As part of Minimum’s sustainable transition, the brand is taking impressive steps towards circularity. By recycling unsold styles into new fabrics for coming collections, the brand takes action on the environmental impacts of the fashion industry’s endemic excess production. Together with the Danish textile production and innovation company, Textile Pioneers, Minimum is turning their old, obsolete stock into new, more relevant styles.

Previously, it was possible to recycle only cut-offs and textile waste from production, but with innovation and a pioneering international partnership, Minimum achieves full circularity in a product-to-fibre-to-product process; a true game-changer for the fashion industry.

Explore Minimum here.

Good design has an aesthetic value – also when it’s circular. Meet the Danish creative frontrunners of circular economy and learn their approach to reducing, recycling, and upcycling appealing designs and architecture.

Explore how circular design can drive business. These Danish creatives share how they work with rental models, upcycled materials, and products that can live for generations.

New European Bauhaus

As one in only five projects, our bid for an EU New European Bauhaus was chosen to pave the way in realising the EU mission of “100 climate-neutral and smart cities”.

With an outset in architecture, art, and design, we are eager to start developing and implementing new, innovative circular solutions across European cities to help address the challenges of climate change, biodiversity loss, and resource depletion.

To benefit us all, our partners and we plan to create an open learning environment with principles, methods, and guidelines to support the design of a future where a circular choice is irresistible.

Our bid was co-created and led by a steering group of The Danish Association of Architects, BLOXHUB, Danish Design Center, Danish Architecture Center, Creative Denmark, Confederation of Danish Industry, Molio, Realdania, Royal Danish Academy, and CHARTartfair.

Learn more about the project scope here.

Would you rent your next piece of furniture? Skagerak has a sustainable ambition deeply rooted in the Scandinavian heritage. Their concept for renting and reselling pre-loved Skagerak furniture keeps the pieces in circulation and lives up to their promise to create quality designs that last a lifetime.

Explore Skagerak here.

For the past fifteen years, Skagerak has actively sought a sustainable path and strives to act responsibly in everything they do – from production and the working conditions of employees and suppliers to responsible business management.

If we want to succeed with our circular ambitions, then high quality is a very important starting point.

Mia Møgelgaard, global impact manager at Skagerak

Meet Mia Møgelgaard and Skagerak in this short video.

SLA creates modern, adaptable cities that inspire community and diversity through innovative use of nature, design, sustainability, and technology. Their projects solve some of today's most complex urban challenges while creating convenient and attractive spaces for all.

Al Fay Park by the Danish nature-based design studio, SLA, is the Middle East’s first urban biodiversity park. The 27,500 m2 park is the first to focus on strengthening the region’s biodiversity while using the new planting and wildlife to enhance the local microclimate as well as the public social realm.

Explore SLA here.

Recirculating clothes is the most efficient way of reducing the fashion industry’s environmental footprint. The online platform Continued offers an all-in-one resale solution enabling fashion brands to integrate circular retail models like rental or peer-to-peer resale.

Explore Continued in our white paper here.

The lamps are designed and built by hand in Frederiksberg, Denmark, from carefully selected materials, wood being the most important. With their clean and organic design, Tom Rossau's designs are inspired by a strong tradition of quality and durability.

Tom Rossau designs beautiful lamps with a strong Danish design DNA. Sustainability is an essential focus for the company, and one of its latest circular initiatives is implementing Design for Disassembly as a key principle.

Explore Tom Rossau here.

Good circular design is about developing technologies and products that limit material consumption, increase product lifespan and promote recycling.

Lene Dammand Lund, Rector at Royal Danish Academy
Explore the 'Designing the irresistible circular society' white paper

Designing the irresistible circular society

What if we designed a society where circularity is a clear-cut choice, both in business models and for consumers?

Dive into our white paper ’Designing the irresistible circular society’ and discover even more circular cases fueled by creativity.