2023 Year in Review: Circular by Design

As more and more waste is created, circular design becomes even more important. In our Circular by Design column, contributor Katie Treggiden explores reuse of waste as a way to keep materials in use and bring the legacy of the linear system full circle. Here’s what we shared in 2023.

12.27.23 | By
2023 Year in Review: Circular by Design

Genette Dibsdall Makes Luxury Garments From Discarded Festival Tents

Inspired to put abandoned tents left after UK music festival Boardmasters to use, in 2018 Genette Dibsdall conceived The Maverick. It’s a transformable luxury garment that can be used as a cape, a nap sack, and a tree tent – made from the old tents and named after the campsite in which she found them.

large-scale paint drip artwork

Ella Doran Turns Leftover Household Paint Into a One-Off Art Piece

Ella created a one-off artwork piece called “Paint Drop” during the pandemic, inspired by the idea of using leftover house paint as part of her commitment and passion for the circular economy. After gathering leftover paint from a callout on Facebook, she created the artwork on a reused canvas without a single brush.

modern wood bathroom vanity

Native Trails Turns Reclaimed Wine-Making Materials Into Bath Vanities

Native Trails, the sustainable kitchen and bath manufacturer, has collaborated with hundreds of highly-skilled artisans throughout the world.  The company’s Vintner’s Collection, seen here, is made from reclaimed wine-making materials.

orange book on white background with the cover reading "BROKEN"

Is Repair the Future of Design? Katie Treggiden Explores…

Column writer Katie Treggiden released her sixth book this year, Broken: Mending & Repair in a Throwaway World. The big question at hand is “Is repair the future of design?,” and the discussion around how the linear economy is no longer enough – we need to embrace circular design as fast as possible.

styled interior space with shelves, a plant, brown glass bottles, and a pendant light

skinflint Restores 1920s–1970s Lighting for Homes, Restaurants + Shops

skinflint has been giving new life to vintage lighting from around the world for more than a decade. During that time they’ve saved more than 50,000 lights from ending up in a landfill, restoring each to modern electrical standards without compromising character.

a light-skinned hand half covered in a mended sweater sleeve

TOAST Launches Collection of Creatively Repaired Garments + Home Accessories

TOAST continues to focus on repair culture through clothing, homewares, and accessories, and even offers a repair service for customers (3,579 mends and counting!). TOAST Renewed, which the brand launched earlier this year, is a collection of creatively repaired pieces that have had their lives sustainably extended.

styled modern navy blue sofa

Spoke: TAKT’s 1st Sofa by Anderssen & Voll Is Designed for Repair

Spoke is TAKT’s first sofa release, created in collaboration with Anderssen & Voll. Designed with repair in mind – to be long-life, low-waste, and entirely recyclable – Spoke is making its own way through the typically unsustainable furniture industry.

hand-painted plate reading "To throw stuff away is a privilege we cannot afford. We need to repair more now than ever."

Bridget Harvey Talks the Exploration of Repair

Bridget makes objects with materials from “broken things,” including a lot of ceramics. She also makes repairs, exploring and showing how we can reduce our environmental impact by approaching making in different ways.

for pieces of knit textiles hanging from a clothesline

Lucy Ralph Uses Visible Repairs to Promote the Longevity of Clothing

A repair specialist with an education in surface pattern and textiles, Lucy describes herself as “a future-focused designer who loves to experiment and play.” She’s working within fashion through the exploration of concepts of visible repair and reworking garments.

workspace for mending clothing

Lucianne Canavan Repairs for Well-Being, Community, and the Planet

Lucianne’s work focuses on sustainability and community, as she aims to bring solutions to the waste produced by the fashion and textile industry through the promotion of mending, repair, and creative well-being.

Check out the rest of Design Milk’s end of the year coverage here!

Kelly Beall is Director of Branded Content at Design Milk. The Pittsburgh-based writer and designer has had a deep love of art and design for as long as she can remember, from Fashion Plates to MoMA and far beyond. When not searching out the visual arts, she's likely sharing her favorite finds with others. Kelly can also be found tracking down new music, teaching herself to play the ukulele, or on the couch with her three pets – Bebe, Rainey, and Remy. Find her @designcrush on social.