Image Wear included in the Circular Design training program

Image Wear on mukana Suomen Circular-Design ohjelmassa

Photo: Circular Design

This week, an internationally unique training program for companies that develops planning capabilities in line with the circular economy started. The C ircular Design – development path towards the circular economy program is the first entity aimed at companies, which delves into the principles and practical solutions of planning according to the circular economy. Design Forum Finland and the circular economy specialist Ethica Oy with their partners VTT, SYKE, Sitra, Frankly Partners, Miltton and Alice Labs are responsible for the training. 

50 companies involved in developing operating models

In October, companies from various industries who want to develop their operating model and product and service design towards a carbon-neutral circular economy applied for the free pilot program. The program attracted a wide range of companies and a total of 71 applications were received, of which 50 companies were selected for pilot training. Image Wear is the only workwear company participating in the training program. You can find a list of companies selected for the coaching program here:

Environmental advisor Taina Nikula from the Ministry of the Environment summarizes her thoughts on the program and the participants: "A group of pioneers has joined. This is the starting point for a new way of thinking about both companies' business and products, and hopefully the program will spawn new ideas and operating models in key sectors. The program is part of Finland's national circular economy strategic program implementation. "

In the selection, priority was given to companies whose industry or who themselves are committed to the scenario and commitment process of the Circular Economy Green Deal. The chosen company also had to be able to resource participants in the program from both company management and other key personnel. Companies also had to reserve resources for independent development work between training modules. In addition, the companies had to commit to giving feedback and communicating about their participation in the program and the results achieved at a general level. The companies in the pilot group represent a wide range of industries. There are both large and small companies with different development targets.

"We did not want to exclude any industries or companies based on, for example, their size or turnover. The most important thing was to find participants who had genuine motivation and the necessary resources for development work and an interest in a new kind of training program that combines the circular economy and design thinking," state Design Forum Finland and Ethica Oy's project led by Saija Malila and Anne Raudaskoski .
Circular Design, i.e. planning according to the circular economy

Photo: Circular Design

Not just minimizing negative impacts

The training program aims to find solutions that improve the state of the environment. The aim is therefore not simply to minimize negative effects. In planning according to the circular economy, products and services are not developed only for one end user, but new solutions are designed for wider entities and to produce more value through several life cycles and users. Read more: 

The goal of the training program is to bring design expertise to the development of business based on the circular economy. The development work combines both broad scope, customer orientation as well as creativity and experimentation.

A program of two learning paths 

The Circular Design training program consists of both a strategic level aimed at company management and practical work guiding entities aimed at those involved in product and service development work.

Circular-Design plan

Photo: Circular Design

The pilot companies develop their own product or service concept or value chain solution during the year-long program. The goal is that at the end of 2023, each participating company will have steps planned for the circular economy development destination of their choice, with which to pilot and scale their concept.

Image Wear is included in the Circular-Design program

From the training program, step signs for extending the service life of work clothes

Image Wear has developed service concepts for extending the service life of work clothes and thereby reducing the carbon footprint. You can rent work clothes for as long as you need from the work clothes loan company. In the Aarre service, on the other hand, the customer's clothes are recycled from one user to another. Through the workshops of the training program, more learning and understanding as well as new ideas for recycling are sought.

Responsibility director Kati Tukiainen, development manager Emma Kaappa and designer Anu Suominen participated in the first lecture from Image Wear. The first lecture was eagerly awaited, and the expectations were fulfilled. "A comprehensive set of issues. You realized again why it is necessary to do this important work" , summed up Kati's feelings after the first day of lectures.