Ready to meet the winners of the WDCD No Waste Challenge? Earlier this evening, a total of 16 ground-breaking ideas were selected for the top prize, representing a wide range of strategies for reducing waste and its impact on the planet. Each winning team will now gain access to €10.000 in funding and an extensive development programme designed to launch their ideas into action.
“The quality and range of entries we’ve seen in this Challenge is remarkable,” comments Richard van der Laken, co-founder and creative director of What Design Can Do. “In a turbulent year, it’s particularly inspiring to see that the creative community is willing and able to break away from decades of linear thinking and bad design. I’m hopeful that others in the industry will follow their lead.”
Revolutionizing the the taking and making
The winners were determined by an international jury who reviewed every project from a list of 85 high-potential nominees. Among the ideas to take home the top prize are solutions that focus on the production process – aiming to revolutionise the taking and making of all the things we use and eat. Sustrato (Mexico), for example, combines traditional craft, contemporary design and waste from the pineapple industry to develop a range of sustainable bioplastics. Modern Synthesis (UK) makes use of a similar waste stream, this time from apple farms, to feed microbes that grow fully circular fibers for the fashion industry.
Adressing the underlying problem of consumerism
Meanwhile, other winners are unified by their desire to uproot entire value systems. These projects are looking to prevent waste by addressing the underlying problem of consumerism. Reparar.org (Argentina) for example, is a service which connects individuals to local cobblers and repair shops, working to promote a culture of care and the right-to-repair. Similarly, Project R (Japan), is a community centre that empowers citizens to learn about circular techniques and lifestyles. Together, these winners suggest inventive ways for us to reconcile what we want with what the planet needs. In doing so, they also help to redefine design as a tool that can be restorative and regenerative, instead of merely productive or destructive. Congratulations to all!
ABOUT THE NO WASTE CHALLENGE
What Design Can Do and IKEA Foundation launched the No Waste Challenge in January 2021, calling for bold solutions to address the enormous impact of waste on climate change. The competition was open to innovators everywhere, and offered three design briefs tackling different aspects of our take-make-waste economy. In April, the open call ended with an exceptional 1409 submissions from creatives in more than 100 countries. As part of the No Waste Challenge award package, sixteen winners will now enter a development programme co-created by Impact Hub, which will propel their projects through 2022.
Learn more about the No Waste Challenge at: nowaste.whatdesigncando.com