In partnership with Hubbub, the John Lewis Partnership is launching a £1 million fund to support trail-blazing ideas that accelerate the transition towards a more circular economy.
The fund will provide grants of between £150,000 to £300,000 for projects that re-think waste, shift consumer mindsets or develop new business models.
Seeking trailblazing solutions to rethink waste and develop new business model
The fund is seeking new thinking in three areas: textiles, food and household products, technology and services. The grant fund is open to charities, Community Interest Companies, social enterprises, academic bodies and start-ups (under 5 years old). Successful projects will be innovative and truly circular delivering significant impact that creates a long-term legacy. Collaborative applications are encouraged from organisations willing to openly share their approach and findings.
Building on John Lewis’ existing circularity commitments
The fund builds on a range of waste and circularity commitments made by the John Lewis Partnership in October 2020. These included ensuring that all John Lewis product categories have a ‘buy back’ or ‘take back’ solution by 2025, developing rental/ resale options and halving food waste both operationally and for customers’ by 2030.
As part of this commitment, John Lewis launched a new range of mattresses, containing wool provided after shearing by UK sheep farmers supplying Waitrose. Once a highly valued commodity in the UK wool has been under-utilised for decades. The new mattress range ensures this natural fibre will be put to good use ensuring quality wool is not wasted.
Following in the footsteps of another successful grant fund
The new grant fund follows in the footsteps of a previous Plan Plastic Grant fund delivered by Hubbub on behalf of Waitrose & Partners which also invested monies generated through the plastic bag carrier charge.
Plan Plastic sought innovative ideas to cut plastic pollution. Five winning organisations were selected by an independent panel from a pool of 156 applications. The winners were from diverse organisations covering a range of approaches for tackling plastic pollution. These included new technology to prevent the loss of fishing gear at sea, the world’s first community-led bio recycling plant, exploring how mussel banks could remove marine microplastics, promoting plastic free periods and installing 60 water refill stations at youth hostels.
How to take part
Hubbub and John Lewis Partnership are hoping that this new grant fund will generate a similar spectrum of creative ideas to support the transition to a circular economy. . Applications needed to be completed by 9th January 2022 and will be assessed by an expert independent grant panel. For more details and to apply, see www.circularfuturefund.co.uk.