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Embracing the Circular Economy: Brands Pioneering Waste Reduction

Recycle symbol on blue jeans

In recent years, the concept of a circular economy has gained traction as a sustainable alternative to the traditional linear model of "take, make, dispose." Forward-thinking brands are adopting this approach, creating products and systems that reduce waste and prolong resource lifespan, due to increasing environmental concerns.

Here’s a look at how these brands are setting an example in the Product Star of the Brand Constellations Framework by emphasizing sustainability and durability.


One of the most prominent examples of a brand embracing the circular economy is Patagonia. Known for its high-quality outdoor gear, Patagonia has long been a champion of environmental sustainability. Through its Worn Wear program, the company encourages customers to repair, reuse, and recycle their clothing, offering repair services and selling second-hand items. By promoting product longevity, Patagonia reduces the demand for new resources and keeps clothing out of landfills.


Another brand making strides in the circular economy is IKEA. The Swedish furniture giant has set ambitious sustainability goals, aiming to become fully circular by 2030. IKEA is redesigning its products to use renewable, recycled, and recyclable materials, as well as developing new business models that promote product longevity, such as furniture leasing and buy-back schemes.

By offering customers more sustainable choices and closed-loop solutions, IKEA is driving change in the furniture industry.


In the technology sector, Dell is setting a powerful example of circular economy practices. The company has established a comprehensive closed-loop recycling program, using recycled materials from old computers to create new products.

Dell also designs its products with longevity and repairability in mind, offering modular components that can be easily upgraded or replaced, extending the life of its devices and reducing e-waste.

Eileen Fisher & Reformation

The fashion industry, often criticized for its environmental impact, is also seeing a shift towards circularity. Brands like Eileen Fisher and Reformation are pioneering sustainable practices, using recycled and organic materials, designing for durability, and offering repair and take-back programs.

By creating high-quality, timeless pieces and promoting a "buy less, buy better" mentality, these brands are challenging the fast fashion paradigm and encouraging a more sustainable approach to style.

Growing Demand

As more brands embrace the circular economy, they are not only reducing their environmental footprint but also tapping into growing consumer demand for sustainable products. A recent survey by Accenture found that 83% of consumers believe it's important for companies to design products that can be reused or recycled. By aligning their product strategies with these values, brands can build stronger, more loyal customer relationships.

The rise of the circular economy represents a significant shift in how we think about products and resources. As the brands mentioned above demonstrate, embracing circularity not only benefits the environment but also creates new opportunities for innovation, differentiation, and customer engagement. As more companies follow their lead, we can hope for a future where waste is minimized, resources are conserved, and products are designed to last.

As the examples show, the circular economy is a powerful concept that is transforming the way brands approach product design and development. By focusing on waste reduction and product longevity, these pioneering companies are setting a new standard for sustainability in their respective industries.

Through the lens of the Brand Constellations Framework, we can see how the Product Star plays a crucial role in shaping a brand's overall strategy and market position. Brands that align their product strategies with the principles of the circular economy are not only contributing to a more sustainable future but also differentiating themselves in an increasingly competitive landscape.

As consumers become more environmentally conscious, the brands that shine brightest in the Product Star of the Brand Constellations Framework will be those that embrace circularity, innovation, and a commitment to reducing waste and promoting product longevity.

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