WRAP at heart of new circular economy initiative

6th February 2013

• WRAP  joins Ellen MacArthur CE100 Circular Economy programme (CE100)
• New WRAP report on new business models for clothing sector shows potential of circular economy

WRAP is to be a “pioneer member” of the Circular Economy 100 (CE100) programme, the global alliance announced today by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation to accelerate progress towards a circular economy.

Dr Liz Goodwin, CEO of WRAP, said: “I am delighted WRAP will be at the heart of this business-critical initiative. We will bring a combination of technical expertise combined with proven experience as a catalyst for change, to this important new learning collaboration.”

WRAP has, and continues to play, a significant role in the circular economy through its work in areas such as food waste prevention, resource efficiency in products, plastic packaging and textiles. WRAP’s work on resource efficiency and waste prevention make it ideally placed to make a key contribution to the group’s work.

To showcase the business potential of the circular economy, WRAP today launched a video for businesses outlining the four stages of a circular economy: design, make and sell, re-use and recycling products. WRAP sector specialist Gerrard Fisher explains the practical steps businesses can take, and outlines WRAP’s role in helping businesses achieve the move to a circular economy.

To coincide with the launch of the CE100, WRAP unveiled a new report today that highlights innovative new business models for the clothing sector which could help deliver the circular economy.

WRAP’s report - Evaluating the financial viability and resource implications for new business models in the clothing sector - looks at the commercial viability of a number of alternatives to traditional make-buy-use-dispose business models. It takes into account realistic estimates of the required investment, operating costs and sales value. One option was found to offer great commercial benefits including payback in just over two years.

The models show how the life of clothes can be extended, helping to prevent them being prematurely discarded. The options range from large scale hiring of designer clothes to retailers offering re-sale of pre-owned garments.  Each model was assessed on the opportunity to build turnover as well as deliver a commercially attractive margin and return on investment. 

Dr Liz Goodwin added: “To stay ahead in today’s competitive markets, companies need to reconsider the way they do business. The traditional consumption model of buy-use-dispose is rightly being challenged. You can see why when you consider the significant commercial value that can be realised from used clothes, as well as the water and material resources used in their production.”

Notes to editors:
• For information on the Circular Economy 100 visit www.ellenmacarthurfoundation.org/business/ce100
• For more information on Evaluating the financial viability and resource implications for new business models in the clothing sector, visit http://www.wrap.org.uk/content/innovative-business-models-clothing
• Doing Good Business – The commercial benefits of a circular economy, http://www.wrap.org.uk/content/how-wrap-supports-circular-economy
• As well as outlining practical examples to drive the circular economy, WRAP recently published its vision for the UK circular economy to 2020. For more information please visit www.wrap.org.uk/content/wraps-vision-uk-circular-economy-2020
• WRAP recently worked with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation contributing expert knowledge for the Foundation’s report Towards the Circular Economy Vol.2: Opportunities for the Consumer Goods Sector http://www.ellenmacarthurfoundation.org/business/reports

About WRAP
WRAP’s vision is a world without waste, where resources are used sustainably. It works in partnership to help businesses, individuals and communities improve resource efficiency.

Established as a not-for-profit company in 2000, WRAP is backed by government funding from England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales.

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