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Would you lease a pair of jeans?

One of the central concepts of the circular economy is that leasing products may be more sustainable than owning them. By leasing their products, companies can keep control of the materials and ensure they are reused at the end of the product’s life cycle, rather than being thrown away. And for customers, it guarantees that […]

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The 5% of toys kids actually play with

Last week I wrote about how much screen time is healthy for growing minds. Here’s a related question that we find ourselves debating as parents: how many toys should children have? I raise the question because I read recently that the average ten year old has 238 toys. Parents tend to spend £350 pounds a […]

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Is there such as thing as sustainable tuna?

John West is Britain’s leading tuna brand, with a third of sales across the country. Unfortunately they’re also the worst performing tuna brand when it comes to sustainability. Our relationship with the tuna is complicated. First of all, it’s a predator. We don’t tend to eat their land-based equivalents, and would be horrified to find […]

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Why cheap fashion is a problem

A little video for your Friday afternoon, in which the good folks at Grist explain the consequences of cheap fashion. If you’re not familiar with Grist, by the way, mooch on over and have a look at their site. It’s a firmly established and well informed climate change website, but it has its tongue in […]

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Buy it once and keep it forever

As we look at ways to reduce waste and move towards a circular economy, our attitude to the things we own is going to shift. Buying things, using them a few times and throwing them away is going to be less and less common – or if things are thrown away, it will be because […]

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The 30 year sweatshirt

The oldest item of clothing in my wardrobe that I still wear is a German Army surplus shirt that I bought in the early 90s. You know the type – it’s an army surplus staple beloved of grunge kids and outdoor types. I presume it has something to do with the country’s compulsory military service […]

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Building of the week – the passive shopping centre Fornebu S

Passive buildings are built to such a high standard of efficiency that they hardly need heating. The name refers to ‘passive’ sources of heat such as the sun, the body heat of the occupants, or cooking. This is enough, because very little heat is lost. Buildings are well insulated and airtight, ventilated through a heat […]

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When 99% cheaper is not enough

Every city has its treasures. It may not be particularly famous, but here in Luton we have the Wenlock Jug. It’s a bronze piece from the early 1400s, made to order by a bell foundry and incredibly rare – there are only three such jugs that we know of, and the other two are in […]

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Building of the week – Rapanui’s t-shirt factory

A few weeks ago I received a email from the clothing company Rapanui, informing me that because they had opened their own factory, they were reducing their t-shirt prices. What’s interesting is that where most people drive down prices by opening factories overseas, Rapanui have done the globalisation thing in reverse and opened a site […]

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Let’s not import Black Friday

Yesterday was Black Friday in America, but if don’t have to be American to have heard of it. It’s the day after Thanksgiving, a holiday for many people, and hence it has become the busiest shopping day of the year. The big stores all capitalise on this with big discounts, encouraging a buying frenzy. We’ve […]

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