I chose a backpack from the Del Dia line by Cotopaxi. The backpack is manufactured using unused scrap materials from other brands. The backpacks themselves are known for their unique and colorful designs- a result of mixing and matching these scrap materials. They are assembled in their factory in the Philippines, where the workers choose the colors they want to use to create completely unique backpacks.
I consider it circular because it helps to close the loop between manufacturing processes- it takes waste materials from backpack manufacturing and circulates it back into the manufacturing process. In a linear process, that waste material would most likely have been disposed. It minimizes extraction because instead of extracting raw materials to create new backpack materials, they can reuse previously manufactured materials. It also minimizes disposal because less scraps are thrown away.
The CE models being used are:
Product design: the backpacks themselves are designed to be made with random scraps, especially surrounding their branding and color design
Business model: Their business model includes sourcing scrap materials from other manufacturers, as well as having the actual backpack workers make design decisions.
The economic benefits are that material sourcing for backpacks are cheaper since they’re buying scraps instead of traditional unused material.
The environmental benefits are that less resources and energy is being used to create the material for these specific backpacks. In addition, waste is being reduced by using the scraps instead of disposing of them- this leads to either less material in landfills or less energy and resources being used to recycle these materials.
This business model can be categorized as “waste to wealth”.