Cradle2Cradle or the cherry blossom manifest
It’s time to unravel the mystery behind traceless materials and reveal our recipe for success:
Cradle 2 Cradle!
Well, probably not a surprise for some of you but let us explain how deeply ingrained our belief in Cradle to Cradle is and why we follow this design principle unconditionally.
Have you ever contemplated a cherry tree?
To explain the principle of Cradle to Cradle it’s important to understand that waste isn’t waste. A cherry tree will lose its blossoms in spring and its leaves in autumn. The foliage “waste” becomes a biological nutrient through biodegradation and nourishes the tree.
Nature turns its waste into useful nutrients and that way lives in cycles to keep its precious resources. To save our resources from depletion and protect our environment from waste, we also need to start thinking in cycles and understand that resources can’t be consumed but only be borrowed by us. Once borrowed, we need to use these resources at least as long as it takes to regrow them. Not so easy, if you remember that for example fossil fuel – the raw material for plastic – needs at least 10.000 years to “regrow”.
Currently most production cycles follow the cradle-to-grave principle, meaning the product life cycle is finite and comes to an end after a product is used once. We take earth’s resources and turn them into something that ends up as unusable waste. Related to our cherry tree example, that means we take the foliage, modify it and turn it into something that can’t be biologically decomposed again. Consequently, the foliage can’t nourish the tree anymore, perhaps even contaminates it. Cradle to Cradle (C2C) is a design concept that is inspired by nature and makes waste as we know it today a thing of the past. The main principle of the C2C design concept is “waste equals food”, meaning that all materials are kept in continuous cycles, becoming nutrients again after their use. Plus, products, processes, buildings or even cities designed by C2C principles are not only less harmful but also have a positive ecological footprint!
This design concept differentiates between the technical cycle for service products and biological cycle for consumption goods.
In the technical cycle, mostly inorganic or synthetic materials are used, that can’t be biologically decomposed – like metal or plastic. In order to reuse these (human made) materials many times, it’s necessary to design the products modularly. Like an office chair that can be disassembled into its different mono-materials when a piece is broken, so that the broken piece can be recycled and replaced with a new one.
With our traceless materials we follow the biological cycle. It starts with using leftovers from agricultural industries, such as starch production residues or brewery spent. To make sure our material can still be biologically decomposed and safely reintroduced to nature, all our ingredients are non-toxic and compostable. If our material ends up in your home compost (or accidentally in the environment) it becomes a useful nutrient for the environment. But also disposed of in other waste streams, traceless won’t affect recycling or treatment processes.
Top of the tree – the C2C certification!
We strive for a Cradle2Cradle certification and therefore follow the C2C assessment categories as well as possible. The certification considers:
All ingredients are safe for humans and animals as well as healthy for the environment.
Ensured perpetual cycle of use and reuse from one product use to the next.
Renewable Energy & Carbon Management
Use of renewable energy to reduce or eliminate the impact of climate changing greenhouse gases during production.
Water-protection not only during production but the whole circle.
A business that honours the people and natural system it operates in.
Nature gives us an infinite variety of designs we can use as a source of inspiration to create new products, services and even business models.
We decided to follow the cherry tree to develop the best solution to make our environment live happily ever after and we appreciate that you follow our trace!