Marketing and circular economy principles

Written by Laura Brown
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Marketing and circular economy principles

Circular Economy Glasco, 2019

In a world grappling with increasing waste and pollution, the circular economy has emerged as a beacon of hope, presenting a viable solution to address pressing environmental challenges while promoting economic growth. This innovative economic model centres around the concept of eliminating waste and pollution, closing resource loops, and designing products and services with sustainability at their core. Let’s delve into the principles, benefits, and significance of the circular economy, and how businesses can embrace this transformative approach.

Defining the circular economy

At its essence, the circular economy is a regenerative economic system that aims to decouple economic growth from the depletion of natural resources and environmental degradation. Unlike the traditional linear economy, which follows a “take, make, dispose” model, the circular economy operates on a “reduce, reuse, recycle” mantra. By prioritising resource conservation and waste reduction, the circular economy promotes a more sustainable and resilient future.

Key principles of the circular economy

  • Product design for longevity: In a circular economy, products are designed with durability and longevity in mind. Companies invest in quality materials and craftsmanship, ensuring products can be used for an extended period or repurposed for multiple lifecycles.

  • Reversing waste streams: Instead of discarding products after use, the circular economy seeks to reintroduce them into the production cycle. This process encourages businesses to implement recycling and take-back programs, allowing used products to be transformed into new materials.

  • Sharing and collaborative consumption: The circular economy encourages the sharing of assets and resources, fostering collaborative consumption. Through sharing platforms and leasing services, businesses can meet customer needs without producing excessive quantities of products.

  • Embracing digital technologies: Digitalisation plays a significant role in enabling the circular economy. Innovative technologies, such as Block Chain, facilitate resource tracking, product traceability, and efficient supply chain management, ensuring resources are used efficiently.

Principles and benefits

  • Eliminate waste and pollution: The circular economy strives to minimise waste and pollution by designing products with a focus on longevity, repairability, and recyclability. This approach extends the life cycle of products, reducing the burden on landfills and minimising environmental harm.

  • Preserve natural resources: Through the circular economy, businesses aim to preserve finite natural resources by adopting more sustainable sourcing practices and recycling materials for continued use.

  • Economic growth: Contrary to the misconception that sustainability hinders economic growth, the circular economy actually fosters new opportunities for businesses. By embracing resource efficiency, businesses can reduce costs, create new revenue streams, and unlock innovations that cater to the growing demand for eco-friendly products and services.

  • Climate change mitigation: The circular economy plays a crucial role in mitigating climate change. By reducing reliance on energy-intensive manufacturing processes and promoting circular business models, carbon emissions can be significantly curbed.

  • Job creation: Transitioning to a circular economy opens up avenues for job creation in sectors such as recycling, refurbishment, and remanufacturing. These new roles contribute to building a more inclusive and sustainable economy.

What is the circular economy?

One easy way to contribute the circular economy is to buy second hand from companies likes World of Books and Vinted. The more use a book or jumper has in its lifetime, the less impact it has on the environment.

If old toys, clothes or belongings no longer spark joy, give them all a new lease of life by donating them to a local charity shop. You get to reclaim your space, the charity raises vital funds and the environment benefits. Did you know that the fashion industry produces 10% of all humanity’s carbon emissions and is the second-largest consumer of the world’s water supply?

The importance of the circular economy and its benefits for businesses

  • Resource efficiency: Businesses can enhance resource efficiency by adopting circular business models that emphasise product durability, repairability, and recycling. This not only reduces material costs but also fosters customer loyalty through sustainable products and services.

  • Innovation and competitive advantage: Embracing circular design and business models can spur innovation, leading to novel products and services that meet the evolving demands of environmentally conscious consumers. This provides a competitive edge in the market.

  • Stakeholder engagement: Demonstrating a commitment to sustainability and the circular economy can attract environmentally-conscious customers, investors, and partners. Engaging stakeholders in sustainability efforts strengthens the brand’s reputation and builds trust.

  • Long-term resilience: In a world facing resource scarcity and regulatory changes, businesses that align with the principles of the circular economy are better equipped to adapt and thrive in the long run.

Overcoming barriers to the circular economy 

While the circular economy presents numerous benefits, it is not without challenges. Businesses may encounter barriers such as initial investment costs, lack of consumer awareness, and complex supply chains. However, governments, industries, and consumers need to collaborate to overcome these obstacles and make the transition to a circular economy a reality.

The circular economy is more than just a theoretical concept; it is a tangible framework that can revolutionise the way we consume, produce, and interact with the environment. By adopting circular business models and integrating sustainability into their core values, businesses can contribute to the restoration of the planet while driving economic growth and innovation. It is time to embrace the circular economy and embark on a journey towards a greener, more prosperous future for all.

The circular economy from a marketing perspective

Your marketing agency or department can play a pivotal role in advancing the circular economy by integrating sustainable practices and promoting eco-friendly initiatives in your organisation.

Here are ways in which marketing can actively participate in and contribute to the circular economy:

  • Promoting sustainable products and services: Through campaigns, marketing can spotlight and promote products and services that follow circular economy principles, such as products designed for longevity, recycling-friendly packaging, and circular business models like leasing or sharing services. By highlighting these features, marketing can encourage consumers to make more sustainable choices.

  • Educating clients and consumers: Marketing can take on the role of an educator, raising awareness about the circular economy and its benefits. This involves educating customers on adopting circular practices and guiding them in transitioning to more sustainable business models. Additionally, marketing can create educational content for consumers, inspiring them to support circular economy initiatives through their purchasing decisions.

  • Implementing sustainable marketing practices: Marketing can lead by example and adopt sustainable marketing practices. From reducing paper usage and adopting digital marketing techniques to offsetting its carbon footprint and choosing responsible suppliers which are B Corp certified, the marketing team can demonstrate its commitment to environmental responsibility.

  • Circular events and campaigns: You can organise events or marketing campaigns that revolve around circular economy themes. For instance, you could promote repair and recycling events, encourage upcycling workshops, or even create circular economy-themed contests to engage consumers actively.

Beyond just promoting products, marketing can influence consumer behaviour and contribute to creating a circular economy that prioritises resource efficiency and environmental preservation.

Brevity is a B Corp certified marketing agency. Contact us today and discover how we can help your business thrive while staying true to your values. From sustainable strategies to community-focused campaigns, we’re committed to driving sustainable growth without compromising ethics.  Call us on 01256 536 000 or email

Meet likeminded professionals at People, Planet, Pint – an informal monthly networking event for anyone who wants to have conversations and share insight about sustainability and how to use their business for good. Brevity hosts People, Planet, Pint in Basingstoke, Hampshire and Worthing, West Sussex.