Friday, 7 October 2011

Opening Up The Closed Loop

Looks like cradle-to-cradle or closed-loop systems are going to be a bigger deal than I thought, and emerge much more quickly.

Wayne Hemingway, founder of Red Or Dead, is running a new company dedicated to corporate upcycling, Worn Again. They already have contracts with Eurostar and the Royal Mail, providing bags made from old uniforms.

In a ground-breaking move, Hemingway and his team have been given a free hand to design a fully recyclable uniform for McDonald's 85,000 staff members. Mickey D claims to be the first company in the UK to commit to a closed-loop system for corporate clothing, as part of a massive effort to green up their image.

The new uniforms will be rolled out in time for the Olympics, launching at four sites in the Olympic Park before rolling out across the company's 1200 restaurants. This is clearly a big deal for the future of cradle-to-cradle thinking. If a company as big and ugly as McDonalds can see the benefits, then we could be on the cusp of a paradigm shift. Sustainable thinking becoming the norm, a practical business decision rather than a PR exercise.

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