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How easy is it to ‘go circular’?

event networking latisha

Our mission at 2worlds is to create a new generation of sustainability-focused entrepreneurs that put profit and the environment on an equal level in their potential businesses. We realised there was a lack of understanding about sustainability and entre­preneurship outside of academia, so we decided to build a platform to educate others about how closely the two topics are linked and help to change business processes through so-called ‘ecopreneurship’.

We were naturally drawn to the concept of the circular economy (CE) and how companies can develop processes and products to help build circularity within our economy. We also felt that millennials were the ideal generation to bring forward these changes.

The #circularvibes event held by 2worlds at the London Metropolitan University in June aimed to discuss the role of these young people in the CE. The main reason we started #circu­larvibes was to make the ‘eco’ world accessible to everyone. People should feel that entering a more circular way of life can be an easy choice, without compromising their lifestyle.

For the event, we decided to collaborate with London Met because we had previously been invited to hold talks and workshops there for ‘green week’ events. When we originally discussed the idea of focusing on millennials with them, they loved it and agreed to hold the event.

With more than 40 people registered, all between the ages of 20 and 35, we decided to not simply make #circularvibes a talk but also to focus on the social experience and encourage networking. This was an opportunity for aspir­ing entrepreneurs, students and advocates of various causes to come together, share their stories and build networks to help one another.

The event included talks on numerous topics covered by four amazing speakers, each from a different background in both life and business. Several of the attendees said how they enjoyed having small businesses from varying indus­tries each explaining their shift into a CE busi­ness approach. Having seen the benefits of this event and the effect that it had on attendees, we are already working on our second event: Vol 2 #circularvibes.

We want to prove that millennials – often criticised as being uninterested and unambi­tious – can play a major part in a more sustain­able world. We want to prove that, as a generation, we can collaborate and come up with effective and scalable solutions.

“People should feel that entering a more circular way of life can be an easy choice, without compromising their lifestyle.”

We incorporated the topic of sustainability into various elements of daily life, such as how technology can help us shift to a CE and atti­tudes towards clothing.

James Omisakin and Abbie Morris, the founders of Compare Ethics, which connects ethical shoppers to ethical brands by using online and offline experiences, emphasised how technology is a key driver to a circular model and how it helped them to formulate their busi­ness idea.

Roberta Lee, chief executive of the Ethical Brand Directory, explored the issue of millen­nials and attitudes to clothing by highlighting how much of our approach towards fashion is led by pressures we get from society. The simple question of ‘how many pairs of shoes do you currently have?’ helped the audience to focus on the issue.

She also highlighted the fact that people do not like to be seen in public with the same out­fit twice, and how all of our daily choices have an impact on the environment. She gave the audience simple advice and tools to help change their consumer behaviour. For example, when you buy an item of clothing, you have to ask yourself ‘is it something that I can wear more than 150 times?’

Eco fashion designer Serena Moglia’s session on how to design for waste minimisation and keep products and materials in use was based on case studies, showing how she turns house­hold ‘waste’ into accessories and clothing, such as earrings from old plastic bags. As soon as she showed her fashionable products, the audience was both fascinated and curious.

The next event for the #circularvibes cam­paign will take place in London in September, looking at the topic of the power of millennial women in eco-innovation.

Latisha Bailey and Raphael Amiens are the founders of 2worlds, an ecopreneurship train­ing and development company

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