What is Circular Economy

Circualr Lifestyle


“Agriculture not only gives riches to a nation, but the only riches she can call her own. ”— Samuel Johnson


A large amount of the world’s resources are used to satisfy human’s need for food. Ironically, one third of the food that we have gained from exhausting the earth’s soil and resources does not end up in our mouths. Rather, they are lost during processing, transport, retail, and use. Even worse, such production and consumption systems have resulted in various problems such as the soil degeneration, environmental pollution and ecosystem imbalances. Such impacts have extended far beyond Earth’s capacity to regenerate.

Taiwan has limited land resources, meaning that its food systems are not self-sufficient. If we want to simultaneously manage the country’s food safety as well as environmental and ecological balance, we need to implement systemic changes built on the concept of the circular economy. This necessitates the design of a regenerative food system that starts from farms, to factories, markets, the table, and finally closing the loop by returning the nutrients back to the earth. 


“My clothes have a story. They have an identity. They have a character and a purpose. That’s why they become classics. Because they keep on telling a story. They are still telling it.” — Vivienne Westwood


Thanks to fast fashion and the growing demand for clothing driven by the middle class, in 2015 alone, more than 100 billion items of clothing were produced globally. The linear production-consumption pattern has significant social and environmental impacts. Garment workers in developing countries are under poor working conditions. Synthetic chemicals and additives in the dyeing process have created severe pollution. Vast amounts of natural resources (freshwater, oil, and land) are used throughout the entire production process. Yet the produced clothes are often worn only for a short period, and materials end up being landfilled. The textile and fashion industries produce nearly 20% of global waste. Though 95% of used textile can be recycled and reused, only 1% of the material is used to re-produce clothing. This represents a loss of more than $100 billion each year. Moreover, the garment industry is responsible for 10% of annual global carbon emissions. When a finished product arrives into consumers’ hands, it has passed through 1,900 kilometers.  


“Practicing circular economy is like playing mahjong. What is unuseful to one player is a treasure to another.” —— Roger Chang, Director of land development,Taisugar corporation,Taiwan.


More than 50% of the world’s natural resources are used by the construction industry. Although buildings and construction use 36% of the world’s energy and are responsible for 39% of the world’s carbon footprint, only 3-4% of the construction wastes are reused in the construction industry. According to the United Nations, the world’s population will reach 9.8 billion by 2050, with two-thirds of the people living in cities. How to meet this increase in demand for construction given earth’s limited resources has become an extremely important topic. Enters circular economy - circular economy can help effectively reduce the energy consumption used during construction and ensure the reuse of construction materials through circular design. At the same time, circular economy can be a new opportunity for the construction industry to upgrade.  


“The Circular Economy can help reduce vehicle lifetime emissions by up to 75% by 2030” —— Accenture, the World Economic Forum.


According to the studies, people who own a car use it only 5% of the time everyday, and the remaining 95% of the time the car is idle. The parking space of cars occupies people's living space, and the cars purchased with a lot of money are not used properly. The rise of the sharing platform attempts to improve the use of resources at the stage of use.