Circle Economy and AMFI Bring ‘Beyond Next’ Circularity Event to Amsterdam

This originally appeared in Innovators Magazine.

Pioneering event is world’s first and only event to help businesses develop practical solutions to accelerate towards a circular economy

This week Circle Economy and Amsterdam Fashion Institute bring ‘Beyond Next’ to Amsterdam, the biggest circularity event on the planet!

At a time when innovation is urgent; this event dives deep into key themes such as single-use plastic, sustainable fashion, food waste and the shared economy.

The event ‘Beyond Next held Feb 7th and 8th is world’s first and only event to help businesses develop practical solutions to accelerate towards a circular economy.

The event will be attended by 800 people across Europe and brings together industry professionals, students, artists and government actors to co-create ideas to create a more sustainable world.

It will also  feature panel discussions and inspirational speeches from speakers such as Kate Raworth, Author of the book ‘Doughnut Economics’ and Frans van Houten, CEO of Phillips.

A key feature of this event is its pitching competition in which teams are challenged to co-create circular solutions to real business issues. This year, HEMA, ABN AMRO and The City of Amsterdam join AMFI to set circular challenges.

The four themes are:

  1. Beyond Ownership – How can we promote access over ownership in the household? By ABN AMRO
  2. Beyond Plastics – How can we transition to a system free of single-use plastics? By HEMA
  3. Beyond Education –  How can fashion education equip students for a ‘new reality’? By AMFI
  4. Beyond Leftovers – How can we effectively collect and use organic waste throughout the city? By Gemeente Amsterdam

Speaking of their ambition, Marieke van Doorninck, Deputy Mayor at The City of Amsterdam says: “The city of Amsterdam aims to be a fully circular and climate neutral city by 2050. Urban leadership will lead the way on delivering the positive effects of a circular economy.”

Leslie Holden, AMFI Head of Fashion & Design and the Master Fashion Enterprise Creation says:

“Education can no longer shy away from the vast and damaging impact the industry has and must equip the next generation of fashion professionals with the values, perspectives, and knowledge to lead us toward a fairer and more sustainable fashion future.”

Highlighting the urgency of the event, Gwen Cunningham, Circular Textiles Specialist at Circle Economy and Lecturer on Sustainability in AMFI says:

“The next generation of fashion professionals understand the urgency for change and we, as educators, must prime them to act.”

This event comes on the back of a report released by Circle Economy at the World Economic Forum that highlights not enough is being done across sectors to adhere to the Paris Agreement to keep global temperature rises well below 2˚C. 

The ‘Circularity Gap Report’ proposes that a move away from society’s prevalent ‘take-make-waste’ model towards one of circularity can maximise our planet’s chance of avoiding a dangerously changing climate.