Our planet’s resources are dwindling, and relying on old value chains is becoming unsustainable. From production to consumption, there has been a movement to reimagine how resource-heavy industries can cut back on waste and shift to more circular models — in other words, models that place a heavier emphasis on reusing resources and maximizing the value of materials.

Women have been at the forefront of this movement, thinking creatively about how to make supply chains greener and reduce the environmental impact of industries such as fashion.

“I feel like women are just naturally problem solvers,” said Chui-Lian Lee, Co-founder and CEO of fiber company Werewool. “We see something and we want to change it.”

Last year, Lee and her all-star team of women won the H&M Foundation’s Global Change Award, which recognizes early-stage innovations that make the fashion industry circular. Werewool uses proteins from coral, jellyfish, sea anemones, turtles, oysters, and even cows’ milk to produce biodegradable fabrics with the optimum color, stretch, moisture, and water repellency.

In addition to being problem-solvers, women are more sustainable consumers and more sensitive to environmental concerns than men. “There is evidence showing that women are more caring and receptive to circular behaviors such as reuse, repair, and simply prolonging the use of an item as long as possible,” said Diana Amini, Global Manager at the H&M Foundation.

When women are equal everywhere, in leadership and entrepreneurship, they can help us achieve a more circular economy and a sustainable planet.

 

Featured Image: Sam Lion/ Unsplash