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Q&A with CAP member: Nin Castle

Jan 17, 2022

Briefly describe your background, interests & areas of expertise.

I’ve been working in textile waste management, up-cycling and recycling since 2004. Starting from a design perspective, working with both post-consumer and post-industrial waste, I then moved on to working in the systems needed to organise and standardise waste to be able to scale a circular industry and build efficient reverse supply chains.

 

What does circularity in the textiles industry mean to you?

The opportunity to reduce our dependence on virgin resources, and thus the carbon footprint of the textile and apparel industry. The most intriguing is that possibility to do this at radical scale and speed. An effective circular industry will be one that utilises a plethora of solutions and technologies, whilst creating a fairer and more just system for the people working within it.

 

What does your company/organisation do to bring about circularity (core relevant activities/commitments, highlight short and long term goals, if relevant)?

Reverse Resources is a SaaS platform to map, measure and trace textile waste. It is our aim to build the infrastructure and data collection tools that will be required to build and scale circular supply chains. We need to help recycling technologies scale at speed if we are to meet the Paris agreement, one critical part is creating the feedstock sourcing routes and building in traceability into these reverse supply chains from the start.

 

What made your decision to join the CAP?

I was delighted to be asked to join the CAP, for impact is what drives me. The opportunity to share my knowledge and support Worn Again Technologies so that they can meet the challenges when creating these very large feedstock sourcing supply chains made complete sense.

 

What do you believe the biggest hurdles/opportunities for transitioning to a new circular business mindset will be, for WA, for the industry?

For me the biggest hurdle will be around creating these feedstock sourcing routes. There is plenty of textile waste out there, but how do we collect, sort, prepare and supply this waste at an economically viable price point. The biggest challenge will be scaling this industry at speed whilst also, at all times, creating opportunities for smaller companies to participate in these circular supply chains. These much-needed efficient supply chains will be better suited for larger companies, however they could create monopolies on textile fibre.

 

Name 3 things you think businesses will be doing differently in a circular future.

Ecosystems, collaboration and inclusivity are the three keywords for me when talking about circularity in the textile industry.

We need a good ecosystem of solutions ranging from resale to repair to recycling. Just within the recycling sector there needs to be a good ecosystem of technologies ranging from mechanical to thermo mechanical to a variety of chemical recycling approaches. Within this ecosystem of solutions and technologies I believe the most successful businesses will be ones who understand the economic incentives for collaboration.

Efficiency and standardisation in waste management is key. Collaborating and therefore motivating companies further around the circular supply chain to improve processes that enable highly effective waste collection and recycling, will be able to create the most sustainable and profitable processes and value chain. Unlike the linear system, in a circular industry what goes around does indeed, come around! The companies that realise how heavily reliant they are upon the actions of other stakeholders and can create new business models that enable collaboration along and around the value chain, will be the most successful.

 

How important is this Circular Advisory Panel approach for preparing a company like WA for the market (i.e. a business starting out with the sole purpose of enabling circularity but entering the market in ‘linear times’)?

Change for many years has been very slow, however we are beginning to see a radical shift. The business model of a circular industry is significantly different from a linear one and will be dependent on policy change. Indeed a great collaboration between the public and private sector will be required, as well as substantial investment in the technologies themselves. Most significantly a circular economy creates new business models with nuances and repercussions both positive and negative that we are yet to fully comprehend. Bringing a group of experts with deep knowledge into specific areas of these emerging circular supply chains will enable us to identify problems and create the needed solutions.

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