• Culture

Nick Hoskin’s vision for a circular economy

Why small, accessible change wins every time

By Jenny Ringland

Nick Hoskin’s vision is to change the world, but he won’t tell you he’s an activist. The founder of The World’s Most Rubbish, a platform and directory for the world’s most eco brands says he’s just doing what he can to try and help others do what they can. In that vein he has recently launched The Circle Awards “to celebrate and unite the diverse businesses, organisations, projects and people adopting circular practices to create a world where nothing goes to waste,’’.

With a panel of judges that includes activist and documentary maker Damon Gameau, Small Giants founder and Dumbo Feather Magazine publisher and editor Berry Liberman and founder of cult beauty brand Kester Black Anna Ross, the awards are designed to celebrate progress rather than perfection.

“Our focus is on recognising those who are adopting circular practices, no matter how big or small, and sharing these examples to capture the interest of other businesses and consumers to inspire mainstream change,’’ Nick says.

“The benefits of the circular economy are endless, but in short it enables us to re-frame sustainability from just doing less bad, to doing more good. We know it’s a lofty ambition, but it really helps us focus our energy and resources to ensure we’re always heading in the right direction.”

Here’s more of our chat with Nick on the eve of launching The Circle Awards.

What do you think the post-COVID world looks like in terms of sustainability?

I think COVID has definitely led to an increase in awareness of the impact our actions have on the world around us, but also how quickly the negative impact of our actions can be turned around through making more considered decisions. 

Have you always been concerned for the environment?

I’d say there has always been a degree of concern, but I’d never have considered myself in that 1 per cent of people who actively go about making significant lifestyle changes. That’s actually a really important aspect to my story, as it was through adopting smaller, more accessible behavioural changes that my enthusiasm and passion for the circular economy grew.

What’s the biggest concern for you when it comes to sustainability?

For me, it is the mindset that it is someone else’s problem to fix, whether that’s businesses looking to governments, consumers looking to brands or individuals looking to other individuals. We need to empower everyone to do whatever they can to adopt more sustainable practices rather than just expect a small percentage to do things perfectly. 

In your ideal world, explain what a circular economy looks like?

Our mission is to create a world where waste is a thing of the past. A world in which we’ve completely transformed our current linear model (take-make-waste) into a circular one that keeps materials, products and services in use for longer (well, forever) to reduce environmental impact and protect precious natural resources.

How are we going to get there?!

As William McDonough and Michael Braingart said in The Upcycle, “It’s going to take all of us. It’s going to take forever. And that’s the point”


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