Simple solutions for global problems

Sep 28, 2021

Imagine a world where the consumables within our lives had their own lifecycle beyond what we see now. A place where waste is eliminated and our products are reused, remanufactured, recycled or composted? This is the definition of a circular economy and Runway are working to support people designing solutions with the circular economy in mind.  

According to The Australasian Circular Textile Association (ACTA) report, approximately 240,000 tonnes of textile waste is sent to landfills each year which is about the same weight of 80,000 standard family-sized cars! Australia alone sends 23kgs of textiles per person to landfills every year.

Kelly from The Compostable Designer invented her own circular solution; a compostable t-shirt is her way of beginning to address this global issue, where two-thirds of all textile waste consists of manmade synthetic fibres which don’t break down.  

Twenty years ago Kelly began in the fashion industry and saw first hand the environmental challenges created by the textile industry via the use of poor quality synthetic yarns and fabrics. She started questioning where textile waste was going. Did her handcrafted garments last the test of time or would they be another disappointment in someone’s wardrobe? She decided to study Textiles to understand how fabrics are made. This was the beginning of The Compostable Designer.  

The Compostable Designer is a business with an action plan to reduce the sheer volume of textiles which go to landfill. This is achieved by creating a 100% compostable material including all threads, swing tags and packaging.  There are no pesticides and herbicides used in the creation of the product, the dyes and inks are all water soluble.  

The T-Shirt needed to be circular.

– built to last longer than a season  

– remove harmful chemicals from its production, reduce water consumption  

– dyed and printed with low impact inks and dyes/waste disposed of correctly  

– People paid correct wages  

– made in Australia  

– packaged with recycled and compostable packaging  

– zero waste/waste offcuts needed to be composted  

– Must compost at the end of its life cycle.  

Kelly has spent the last six years creating and refining the fabric composition, and recently participated in the Runway Circular Economy Business Growth Program where she focussed on building the business side of her solution.  

“Runway has been a true support and guide for my business. Having a great idea that works against the machine needs structure and support. The Circular Economy Business Growth Program connected me with other great thinkers working towards the same goal of saving our planet. Runway helped me learn and apply proven techniques to give my idea the best chance of success to grow into a strong business,” said Kelly.

“Most importantly, it has helped me improve what I design and how it will impact people and the planet. A movement towards compostable clothing and products would only strengthen our local economy, putting the people and the planet at the forefront. The plan is to reframe the mindset of buying for our future generations to come. Buy less, choose quality and reconnect your soul to the experience of living with people building a better world for everyone.” 

As the entire globe begins to understand the challenges presented by textile waste, Runway is proud to be helping people like Kelly create, build and launch sustainable businesses into the economy. 

If you (or someone you know) has a business idea underpinned by Circular Economy principles get in contact with the team at Runway at davids@runwayhq.co or sign up to one of the current programs below,  

Sign Up to a Circular Economy Business Growth Program,

Applications are now open, closing October 3rd for the program commencing October 11!

City of Ballarat:  https://www.ballarat.vic.gov.au/business/circular-ballarat/ready-set-grow-business-program 

Valued at $1,650 pp inc. GST 

Subsidised by Ballarat City Council 

You only pay $330 pp 

or here  

Geelong: https://forms.gle/PXH1eReMqkhy8mTr5  

Valued at $1,650 pp inc. GST Subsidised by RICE 

You only pay $330 pp