The Cradle-To-Cradle idea

A couple of weeks ago, I attended the Green Fashion Show in Berlin – click on the link for the report –  and I found especially Mrs. Friederike von Wedel-Parlow’s presentation impressive. Among other topics she talked about new Business Models – and I would like to present Cradle to Cradle as first example of a new Business Model for Remodeling our Society. 

Now, what does that mean? Cradle to Cradle actually stands for: from the start and right back to the start. It means: continuous cycles of materials. Cradle to Cradle organizations represent a world in which everything is seen as a nutrient, where every foot print, every action of a human being has a positive effect: Waste equals food equals nutrients.

In this special system every single person has the potential to create something new, to do things differently. Innovative solutions are being discovered in order to prevent any trash. Products are supposed to be produced by materials that can be recycled without danger.

Materials stay nutrients, within two cycles: In the biological cycle, only materials are being used that are totally compostable after usage.This is especially important for consumer products which end up totally or partially in the environment when being used.

Within the technical cycle all materials are used in a way that they can be homogenously separated and completely used again. This way biological and technical nutrients stay useful continuously and serve as new nutrient for something else, again and again.

This takes me to the question whether every T-Shirt made of organic cotton is as well Cradle to Cradle? Oh no, not at all. Not every Shirt made of organic cotton is compostable: because: very often there are colors or materials used that are not compostable. If you compost a normal shirt made of organic cotton, poisonous substances would end up in topsoil.

If you are looking for compostable clothes, take a look at Trigema: check it out here. Trigema is a German company that sells Cradle to Cradle products. The materials used, such as buttons, yarns, colors and other substances are all nontoxic and biologically degradable. This means that these Trireme Change®-Products never become waste, but serve as nutrients for soil, plants and micro organisms.