WDCD Live São Paulo 2017 report: Activation Session 3, Circular brands and design leadership
Leadership challenges in turning brands circular
In contrast of increasingly rapid and ephemeral changes, the circular economy is based on a regenerative ecosystem that seeks to rethink all relationships in the production process of a product or service, in addition to optimizing the use of natural resources and their impact.
By Edward Lenzi
In the activation session on Circular brands and design leadership, mediated by designer Lígia Coimbra, fashion designer Flavia Aranha talked about the leadership challenges when proposing innovations and new processes to existing structures. Aranha mentioned the importance of using digital tools such as machine learning and big data to accelerate strategic decisions, aligning the intentions among all the groups of the production cycle.
Aranha’s integrated vision connects producers, brands and consumers with the appreciation of ancestral knowledge of local biodiversity and craftsmanship, linked to new technologies and open knowledge, broadening the reach of actions and inspiring new insights. Textile wastes from the production are completely reused and the consumer is informed through
QR-codes on the product labels that show each stage of production. In circular economics, profit is part of a larger process, not the ultimate goal.
House of Vans
For designer and skateboarder Pete Hellicar, just like skateboarding, circular economy redefines the world around us and concerns all of us individually, through personal experiences. For the creation of the House of Vans in London, Peter redesigned an unoccupied underground space at Waterloo Station with minimal environmental impact or use of materials. The project brought new economic and cultural breath to the area, further strengthening Vans and their behavioural influence in the urban environment. The structure, which was to be dismantled this year, can now stay until 2019.
Finally, Abraps director Marcus Nakagawa warned for the threat of green washing by companies facing the demands of new consumers. He shared some principles of sustainable leadership, which should point out trends and seek cost-effective solutions to problems already identified as well as innovations tackling problems not yet recognized. With the 17:30 manifesto, Abraps seeks to engage and raise awareness among entrepreneurs, brands and professionals for the 17 sustainable development goals proposed by the UN for 2030.
Top image: from left to right Marcus Nakagawa, Flavia Aranha, Lígia Coimbra and Pete Hellicar / all photos José de Holanda