On 27 May, we announced the 85 nominees of the What Design Can Do No Waste Challenge. During the open call, creatives submitted ideas responding to at least one of three design briefs, each one tackling a different aspect of our take-make-waste economy. Participants applied to either the Global track or to specific city tracks aimed at finding solutions in Amsterdam, Delhi, México City, Nairobi, São Paulo & Rio and Tokyo. After a rigorous selection process, 29 outstanding projects were nominated for the Global track, which was open to all innovators around the world. Take a closer look at the shortlist, below.

TAKE LESS

The following nominees responded to the first design brief, which focuses on the root causes that are fueling our waste problem. It suggests questions like: How can we consume more mindfully and inspire the use of fewer natural resources? Could design help us envision alternatives to buying and owning products?

→ read the full briefing here


The Bagless Cord

SUBMITTED BY: Bor Klemenc Mencin (Slovenia) | STRATEGY: PRODUCTS    

The bagless cord is an ergonomic, recyclable alternative to the plastic bag. It transports boxed goods with the same convenience, but at a fraction of the financial and environmental costs.


Sonke

SUBMITTED BY: Eben de Jongh (South Africa) | STRATEGY: PRODUCTS, SpaceS  

Sonke designs, manufactures and manages automated refill stations for fast-moving consumer goods, like dishwashing liquid and cooking oil. This project is also tagged as Brief 2: Make Better.


Metavogue: your digital fashion

SUBMITTED BY: Alice Sueko Müller (Switzerland) | STRATEGY: ProductS, ServiceS OR SystemS    

METAVOGUE is the first digital fashion closet, marketplace and economy that allows individuals to buy, wear and sell digital fashion as an alternative to physical fashion consumption.


Reparar.org V2.0

SUBMITTED BY: Melina Scioli (Argentina) | STRATEGY: COMMUNICATIONS, SERVICES OR SYSTEMS    

An online repair directory which makes it easy to find local repairers, to promote a culture of care and the reduction of waste. This project is also tagged as Brief 3: Handle Smarter.


Wildfinding

SUBMITTED BY: Emily Whiteside (UK) | STRATEGY: COMMUNICATIONS, SPACES    

A wild wayfinding system encouraging people to forage for their food, reduce waste and consume more mindfully.


Hack Your Closet

SUBMITTED BY: Mikaela Larsell Ayesa (Sweden) | STRATEGY: Services or Systems

Hack Your Closet prolongs the life of second-hand, unsold and deadstock clothing by circulating them between its customers through a subscription service. This project is also tagged as Brief 3: Handle Smarter.


Clothing Loop

SUBMITTED BY: Lena Hartog (Netherlands) | STRATEGY: Services or Systems    

The Clothing Loop makes it easy and fun to share bags of pre-loved clothes by connecting people in local communities.


Waste Watchers

SUBMITTED BY: Alina Sidbrant (Ireland) | STRATEGY: Communications, Products, Services or Systems  

A grassroots movement to fight excessive plastic packaging, mobilizing consumers to collect data as they shop, and reporting the results to the manufacturers responsible. This project is also tagged as Brief 2: Make Better.


MAKE BETTER

The following nominees responded to the second design brief, which focuses on reducing waste through rethinking how things are made and what they are made of. It suggests questions like: How can we encourage the use of more innovative and sustainable materials? Could we redesign the life cycles of products, so that they are more restorative and/or regenerative?

→ read the full briefing here


Modern Synthesis

SUBMITTED BY: Jennifer Keane (UK) | STRATEGY: Products, Services or Systems    

Employing microbes to grow customisable and fully circular biomaterials for the fashion industry using local agricultural waste, like those from apple farms.


Algaeing

SUBMITTED BY: Karen Wilf (Israel) | STRATEGY: PRODUCTS 

Algaeing™️ develops environmentally-friendly textile fibers and dyes, using algae grown in closed-loop vertical farms.


Pulp Fusion

SUBMITTED BY: Guillaume Credoz (Lebanon) | STRATEGY ProductS  

Pulp Fusion is a fully compostable chair made from recycled paper and organic materials that helps the propagation of seeds through guerilla gardening.


Fabulous Fungi

SUBMITTED BY: Ilse Kremer (Netherlands) | STRATEGY: PRODUCTS  

Synthetic textile dyes cause significant water pollution. This project offers a more sustainable alternative in innovative pigments extracted from various species of fungi. This project is also tagged as Brief 1: Take Less.


Oka Biotechnology

SUBMITTED BY: Érika Cezarini Cardoso (Brazil) | STRATEGY: Products, Services or Systems    

From a crunchy edible spoon to a biodegradable seed capsule, we turn litter into life using a circular regenerative model to create bio-packaging.


Sumo

SUBMITTED BY: Luisa Kahlfeldt (Germany) | STRATEGY: PRODUCTS

Sumo is a washable, reusable cloth diaper specifically engineered to be kinder to the environment, and to your baby’s bottom. It is made from an innovative cellulose-algae fiber called SeaCell. This project is also tagged as Brief 1: Take Less.


Forest Wool

SUBMITTED BY: Tamara Orjola (Netherlands) | STRATEGY: PRODUCTS  

Forest Wool turns pine needles — an underutilized waste-product of the timber industry — into a high-added value textile fiber. This project is also tagged as Brief 1: Take Less.


Werewool Performance Fibers

SUBMITTED BY: Chui-Lian Lee (USA) | STRATEGY: PRODUCTS

Werewool is engineering biodegradable textile fibers with inherent colour and function, resulting in high performance without plastics and water pollution. This project is also tagged as Brief 1: Take Less.


Japanese Knotweed Project

SUBMITTED BY: Marina Belintani (Brazil) | STRATEGY: PRODUCTS  

The Japanese knotweed is classified as an invasive species in more than 15 countries. This project reduces the negative impact of this plant by turning it into circular and sustainable materials for different industries. This project is also tagged as Brief 3: Handle Smarter.


Mapu

SUBMITTED BY: Philine von Düszeln (Germany) | STRATEGY: PRODUCTS

Mapu Preto are sound systems handmade out of clay that reunite traditional crafts and technology through heritage-led-innovation.


Flower Matter

SUBMITTED BY: Irene Purasachit (Thailand) | STRATEGY: Products, Services or Systems 

A flower upcycling hub turning commercial flower waste into environmentally responsible materials such as paper and bio-leather. This project is also tagged as Brief 1: Take Less.


Living Coffin

SUBMITTED BY: Bob Hendrikx (Netherlands) | STRATEGY: PRODUCTS

The world’s first living coffin: a fully biodegradable casket made out of mycelium fungi, which turns into compost within 45 days. This project is also tagged as Brief 3: Handle Smarter.


MarinaTex

SUBMITTED BY: Lucy Hughes (UK) | STRATEGY: PRODUCTS  

A strong, translucent and home-compostable packaging material made from fish waste, providing a planet conscious alternative to flexible plastic film.


UnPlastic: Waste is optional!

SUBMITTED BY: Francois Schockaert (Netherlands) | STRATEGY: PRODUCTS

We upcycle food production and brewery waste to make new and compostable packaging materials.


Bio Orange Juice

SUBMITTED BY: Eduardo del Fraile (Spain) | STRATEGY: Products

Fully compostable packaging for orange juice, made from a polymer subtracted from the orange peel itself. This project is also tagged as Brief 1: Take Less.


Vii Lab

SUBMITTED BY: Clara Davis (Spain) | STRATEGY: SERVICES OR SYSTEMS

A 3-dimensional interactive platform specifically designed to educate creators on material science, and encourage them to experiment with circular processes. This project is also tagged as Brief 1: Take Less.


#BoCS Tool

SUBMITTED BY: Zubin Nayak (Netherlands) | STRATEGY: Services or Systems  

The Business of Climate Solutions tool is a visual way to co-create connections between a vast range of proven, feasible solutions and the vision and capabilities of any company: resulting in climate-positive and future-proof value propositions.


HANDLE SMARTER

The following nominees responded to the third design brief, which focuses on the so-called ‘end of the line’, and asks for creative ways to redraw it so that all waste is disposed of in a way that’s safe and sustainable. It suggests questions like: How can we better track and manage the different forms of waste we produce? Could we empower people to view and use waste as a resource?

→ read the full briefing here


UWEPA! Platform

SUBMITTED BY: Lucas Sánchez (Colombia) | STRATEGY: Communications, Services or Systems   

A ‘phy-gital’ platform that brings together local waste management system stakeholders in Bogotá to help coordinate their efforts and mobilize collective action. This project is also tagged as Brief 1: Take Less.


Trash Bank

SUBMITTED BY: Muhammad Abdullahi (Nigeria) | STRATEGY: Products, Services or Systems  

A social enterprise bank that allows people to directly exchange their trash for attractive cash incentives.


Echauffement climatique

SUBMITTED BY: Annabelle Jung (France) | STRATEGY: COMMUNICATIONS

Part street football championship, and part clean-up event, this project uses sport to incentivise people to collect garbage in their neighbourhoods and cities.


Project BeachBot

SUBMITTED BY: Edwin Bos (Netherlands) | STRATEGY: COMMUNICATIONS, SERVICES OR SYSTEMS    

A human-robot interaction concept to reduce waste in outdoor areas. BeachBots are designed to hunt small litter, and a gaming application allows anyone with a smartphone to contribute to improve its detection algorithm.


WHAT’S NEXT?

Nominated teams now have the time to improve their submissions before the final jury review in July. Visit our platform for more information about the competition, award package, and to view all the nominees in our project gallery