Waste is a ‘waste’ of space: Dutch startups that make the world a better place
Okay, so not every company wants the world to crash and burn. Waste has become a massive issue for the Netherlands and the world in general. We’ve already spoken about how big companies are trying to make a difference (such as plastic-free supermarket aisles). However, the recycling kings and queens of the Netherlands are here to help this further. These are all Dutch startups that make the world a better place. Many of these Dutch start-ups use circular design, so their products can be easily reused and are therefore environmentally friendly. I’ve never been too amped up on sustainable products, but these Dutch innovative ideas have really got me excited about generally trying to help the planet.
What is circular design?
Here’s a quick recap on what circular design is. In a nutshell, circular design is the ways in which a company designs their final product to be quite literally ‘circular’ – as in recycled, biological and reusable (hence ‘circle’). This means that there is no waste, only recycling and helps to reduce the use of resources and avoid exploitation of them. As we know, our societies are described as the ‘throw away societies’ and they aren’t called that for no reason. This helps ensure that we live in a world that doesn’t just use everything once.
Anyway, let’s get onto looking at some ways businesses are trying to help make the world a better place. These 7 Dutch startups that make the world a better place, are something to shout home about (for that exact reason)!
Fruitleather, based in Rotterdam, is in the process of developing fruit waste into materials for fashion, footwear and furnishings. The process is eco-friendly and develops into a material that is similar to leather. Not only is fruit waste being reduced, but ultimately it serves as an alternative to real leather, where over a billion animals get slaughtered. The possibilities are endless with this product. Incredibly cool, huh? There will be no more slipping on those banana skins now.
Check out this amazing tent made from mango waste (263 to be precise)! If you took this to a festival and told them it was made out of mango’s, they’d think you’d already drank all 20 of your beers.
2. Mud Jeans
Mud jeans produces jeans in both an ethically and environmentally friendly way. Their cotton isn’t conventional, their mills are GOTS and BCI certified and the trade is fair. Old jeans are then recycled by being shredded into pieces and then blended with new cotton. The jeans are then remade. The perfect item to upcycle! The jeans also have a cool little touch that the jeans are named after their former owner. So if you want your name to make a claim to fame, then don’t forget to recycle your old jeans and that might just happen.
Check out these jeans – they look brand new, but I wonder how many owners they’ve had? Still, so cool!
Kromkommer is the business that saves all of the ‘ugly’ vegetables from the bin and turns them into something lekker. You’ve probably noticed all of the wonky vegetables get left in the supermarkets and you’re probably guilty of that too. I spent a couple of years working in a supermarket, and I can vouch for the fact that people just don’t want to buy wonky veggies. Well, Kromkommer use these wonky vegetables and turn them into soup, which then gets repackaged and sold back to us. Then there really is no excuse not to buy that wonky veg.
Yeah, they look really delicious too!
Let’s be honest with ourselves now, nearly every single one of us has a ‘junk’ draw. This is the draw where we just chuck any old thing in there, if we don’t know what to do with it. This usually includes an old mobile that we keep JUST IN CASE. I’m guilty of saying that at one point I actually had 4 just in case phones (Editor’s note: that’s crazy Emma, we need to talk about this).
Fairphone recognized that this was an issue, because eventually, that would probably worm its way into the rubbish tip. They saw the potential and are now recycling these old phones (ethically and environmentally), so we can use them again! This helps reduce all of the issues that come with phone waste, such as pollution of both the earth and the people, and to help reduce the mountain of e-waste that gets shipped to poorer countries.
Again, the possibilities are endless… how many of us are guilty of ‘wasting’ phones?
5. Dick Moby
When people decide to go plastic-free or try and reduce their plastic usage, you don’t think about items such as sunglasses. Well, Dick Moby, a business that sells sunglasses, has created a way to even make our sunglasses guilt-free. In collaboration with Mazzucchelli, they create black sunglasses frames from 97% recycled acetate. The other 3% is literally just black ink. This way, we aren’t just producing plastic for the sake of it. A lot of us are guilty of buying cheap throw-away glasses without thinking about the impact.
Look how nice they are! Now you can look like the trendy sunglasses emoji, AND know that you’re using recycled plastic.
As most of us know (and are growing to be aware of), plastic pollution is a HUGE problem and it’s only getting worse. We may have seen the terribly upsetting David Attenborough documentaries showing how plastic is killing animals in the oceans, and also recognize it littering our streets on a day to day basis.
So how does Wasteboard fit into this? The clue is in the name. Wasteboard create skateboards from recycled bottle caps. They are collected by schools, companies etc and then individually made by hand. This means that every single skateboard is unique and they look super cool!
BlueCity is more of a community (based in Rotterdam, how fitting), than an actual business, but we just had to mention it too because it kicks ass. So BlueCity is basically a community where circular startups can all work together to help combat waste. It’s described as a ‘playground’ for these circular companies (like the ones we have already mentioned).
Ever heard ‘one man’s trash is another man’s treasure?’, well this couldn’t be more true in this case. Waste from another, could be treasure to another startup. It’s basically just one massive building block of getting the most out of everything we use and working together to make it happen.
Dutch startups that make the world a better place – aren’t they great?
So there we have it, 7 Dutch startups that make the world a better place, to really get your recycling juices flowing. I think they’re all pretty rad and if more companies get on board and try to make a difference, then I think we’re on to something here. And let’s not forget the Dutch guy attempting to clean the ocean! Do you have any other cool Dutch startups that make the world a better place like this to share with us? Drop it in the comments! 😉