Lesson 5
#bettertogether: collaboration is key to developing the ecosystem and build what isn’t there

Mijn Tabel

When we set off on our mission to design carpet fit for circularity, our focus was on just that: designing out waste. Our ambition quickly pointed us in the way of our 3 product design principles. And soon we were successful in helping our partners design carpets, mattresses and panels so that materials can be reused or recycled.

And then we almost got stuck. Yes, we helped design products fit for circularity, but to make such products truly circular requires them to be returned for reuse or recycling at end of use. However, the infrastructure needed to do so was (and is still largely) missing. To make the circular economy a reality we need to build what isn’t there.

The thing is, that as we move towards circular, we move into uncharted territory, with no maps to guide us along the way. One major benefit we do have, is the specific and extremely valuable know-how of each player and partner in the value chain.

Here, our lesson learned has been that to make circularity a reality, we need to move beyond competition and tap into the know-how that is out there in the value chain. We need to innovate through collaboration and set up the infrastructure required to close the loop. It is the only way in which we can leverage our shared know-how and ensure we fulfil the R Strategies of the circular economy: Refuse, Rethink, Reduce, Reuse, Repair, Refurbish, Remanufacture, Repurpose, Recycle and (if everything else fails) Recover.

Already, together with three of our value chain partners – Auping, Wellman International and TWE – we have proven the power of #bettertogether. We have successfully joined forces to create a return and recycle infrastructure for mattresses that is unique in the world! This has been made possible thanks to the scannable Niaga® tag that is there to distinguish circular products from the pack and that is the backbone of such collaboration. Together, these value chain partners are moving towards a world without waste.

Mijn Tabel

“With over 50 years pioneering experiencing of turning waste material into a ‘resource’, protecting the planet is second nature to Wellman International. This unique, closed loop mattress initiative, developed with our collaboration partners, demonstrates what is possible in terms of delivering fully circular solutions and truly moving towards a circular economy.”
Wellman International

“We are a preferred and most trusted partner for innovative nonwoven solutions worldwide. This collaboration is a new, exciting opportunity for us in the mattress industry.”

#designtouseagain #designoutwaste #circulareconomy


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