Natalie Ashdown discusses the shift towards Circularity at MaRS Impact Climate 2021

Sustainability by Design — Shifting to a Circular Economy On the Way to Net Zero

What will it take to get to a circular economic system? Can we get there in…

Alongside experts, Natalie Ashdown COO discussed Evoco’s  concept of natural circularity of product and carbon. Natalie was asked about the impacts of fast fashion and how Evoco is changing the norm.

Question: Sustainable materials aren’t cheap, but the price tag on fast fashion doesn’t include long term impact. How is Evoco getting brands to consider the cost?

Yes sustainable materials are a premium and it is difficulty to quantify the impact. At Evoco we like to focus on 3 pillars.

  1. Utilizing plants to make new materials and products to reduce the carbon impact and offset the use of oil and petrochemical based products. Plants are abundant, plants are regional and with regenerative farming practices there is so much opportunity.
  2. Secondly, we use a concept called Enduring performance – we make products to last to reduce the consumption cycle. We buy less and this removes the fast fashion argument. What this means to the consumer. We buy a 200 shoes, often take out the cheap insole and put in a better insole in. When we can start with a good performance sustainable product. By putting our material in there to begin with we are sending a message to the consumer they can save money and are reducing their impact on the environment.
  3. The third pillar is Natural circularity – we focus on natural circularity through natural degradation, carbon from material from plant can go back into make a new product.

We design materials to degrade rather than recycle or upcycle – What we don’t understand very clearly is the impact of recycling on the environment such as  the carbon emissions in reprocessing, the impact of microplastics along the supply chain.

Recycling can only do so much for us, Only 9 % of recyclable materials are recycled and once its recycled into a shoe or t-shirt it cant be recycled again and it goes back into landfill and our oceans.

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