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With resources dwindling faster than ever, the need to return to a more sustainable society is greater than ever. The Circular by Design Challenge invites creatives to be part of finding the solution.

Companies that adopt a circular business model use resources more efficiently and seize the opportunity to develop new services and identify new revenue streams and markets, while protecting the environment

Developed by the Luxembourg Creative Industries Cluster – which is managed by Luxinnovation – with support from the Ministry of the Economy, the challenge offered creatives the opportunity to compete for a place on a 12-week coaching programme. It also gave them an opening to develop their circular service or product ideas together with one of its industrial partners, Aanka Project, Guala Closures, Goodyear, the Lycée des Arts et Métiers, Office Freylinger, ProGroup, Silversquare and United Caps. The partners were willing to implement and produce the best ideas in four categories: Fashion Design, Interior Design, Product Design and Mobility.

Five award winners

During three intensive months, the 10 participants – start-ups as well as established designers – received input from skilled coaches who challenged them on their ideas and hypotheses and who provided expert advice in fields such as business consultancy, the circular economy, intellectual property and industrial design. At the awards ceremony on 29 April, five of them were rewarded:

  • Anna Zahedi-Lamarche (Fashion category) for her project Nana & Rose (sustainable maternity clothes rental)
  • Julie Conrad (category Interior Design) for her project Cego (circular workspace systems)
  • Marko Klacar (Product Design category) for his project Capriole (sustainable coffee fertilizer)
  • Filip Westerlund (category Mobility) for his project Our Choice (circular trainers)
  • Gouda Treciokaite (Special Jury Award) for her Kombucha leather project.

“Companies that adopt a circular business model use resources more efficiently and seize the opportunity to develop new services and identify new revenue streams and markets, while protecting the environment,” Minister of the Economy Franz Fayot pointed out. “The Circular by Design Challenge has not only raised the awareness of the circular economy among different industries, but also fostered and initiated new business partnerships.”

Next edition international

A second edition is already planned and will take place this autumn. While the general concept will remain the same, the scope will be enlarged with an additional category welcoming students in secondary and higher education. The programme will also expand to the international level.

“An international jury will select the participants, and it will also be possible for international creatives and partner companies to join the programme,” announced Sasha Baillie, CEO of the national innovation agency, Luxinnovation.

The strength of the programme is the win-win situation it has created: the creatives obtain support to develop their ideas, and the companies get a wave of creativity and different ideas from the outside.

The partner companies play an important role in the challenge: they prepare the briefs for the calls of ideas for each category, and are thus able to align them with their interests and needs for new, circular concepts. “The strength of the programme is the win-win situation it has created: the creatives obtain support to develop their ideas and transform them into business, and the companies get a wave of creativity and different ideas from the outside,” said Ms Baillie. “New opportunities for our economy emerge, and the seeds are planted for sustainable economic development.”

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