Grand Arcade in Cambridge is to host a circular economy event in October.
Retailers and brands will be involved in the week-long showcase of circular thinking, which runs from 22-30 October at the city centre shopping centre.
The aim of the event is to offer consumers and businesses practical examples and ideas of what they can do to reduce their consumption and lifestyle impact on the world.
Dubbed ‘Let’s Go Circular’, the event at Grand Arcade in Cambridge will host interactive workshops and exhibition space focusing on three pillars of the circular economy: design out waste and pollution; keep products and materials in use; and regenerate natural systems.
Green Retail World monitors retailers making changes to their operations and approach in order to be more sustainable, and this event at a shopping centre highlights the power the retail industry has in encouraging more sustainable practices in wider society.
Julie Kervadec, marketing manager for Grand Arcade in Cambridge, said: “During the pandemic, I did a circular economy training course with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation that opened my eyes to the changes we need to make as individuals and as business to survive and thrive as a local community.
“The idea behind Let’s Go Circular is to use a highly visited place, like Grand Arcade, as a platform to learn more about the circular economy principles. We want to help show practical examples of what we can do in our daily life, as it can sometimes feel overwhelming.”
Charity Sew Positive will kick off the week of workshops, showing visitors how they can mend their own clothes in order to slow down their fashion impact. Grand Arcade will end the week by hosting a Repair Café, in partnership with charity Cambridge Carbon Footprint.
During the event, department store chain John Lewis will display its BeautyCycle Scheme, which enables John Lewis Partnership members to recycle a broad range of beauty packaging. Since its launch in November 2019, the retailer says it has saved 1.1 million items from going to landfill.
Other events taking place as the week unfolds include a Make Cambridge workshop sharing how people can give clothes a new lease of life and a Re-Imagine Resource Centre presentation on how people can avoid food waste.
Unpckd, a refill delivery service in Cambridgeshire, Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire for families wanting to shop more consciously, will also be present at the event.
Kervadec commented: “It is an opportunity to showcase some of the brilliant retailers’ initiatives that can shift the way we consume and be repeated by more businesses.
“BeautyCycle from John Lewis is just one example. We are also home to Polarn O.Pyret, which started PO.P Second Hand service to ensure its garments are worn by three children or more. The clothes store turns pre-loved into re-loved, and promises to buy your new PO.P items back off you again once they are outgrown.”
She added: “We don’t pretend to be circular as a centre, although we are working hard to reduce our waste, electricity and water consumption. However, we do have a privileged platform of communication – we thrive by being a centre that works to supports the entire community and want to do our part.”
[Image credit: Grand Arcade]