In our ongoing battle against the mounting waste crisis, circular waste models stand out as beacons of hope. Embracing the third 'R' in the waste hierarchy, these models prioritise reuse over recycling, recognising its efficiency in preserving material quality and reducing resource consumption.

But implementing a circular model in business is not easy. If there’s anything we’ve learned from the Refill, Return program is that the road to a scaled solution is a long and bumpy game of trial and error.

But this type of innovation is so important. 

So we’re tipping our hats to a few of our favourite circular brands. The ones we hope you’ve already heard of, or feel you absolutely must know about.

Freitag: Redefining Waste Utilization

These guys absolutely love waste, perhaps even more than we do (which we previously wouldn’t have believed). They make wallets, bags and accessories out of ‘used’ everything. Truck tarp for messenger bags? Yep. Smart phone cases out of ski-boots? Yep.

Not only that, but they offer free repairs through their various stores and online, as well as a spare parts shop - so you can keep your Freitag bag in use, regardless of how hard you wear it. 

You can find out more here.

HuskeeCup: Sustainability Served with Every Sip

If you drink coffee, then you will probably be aware of the most understated reusable coffee cup brand of all: HuskeeCup. The iconic fin design on their HuskeeCups are not only satisfying to hold; they actually feature coffee husks (is it too obvious to point out; Husk-ee).

Not only that, but HuskeeCup has a take back program, HuskeeLoop, whereby they receive all damaged HuskeeCup products for reuse. Their aim is to collect more than 90% of what they create, and turn it into new products and that my friends; is a target after our own hearts. 


Schultz Milk: Reviving the Milkman Tradition

This is a Victorian Only company, who are hopefully inspiring makers around the state. Schultz has been running a great glass contain recycling scheme since 2019 in Victoria.

They are literally the Milkman concept, except they use stockists to distribute and collect their containers. Nothing takes you back to the good old pre-plastic days faster than a cup of milk, poured straight out of a glass milk bottle.

You can read more about their initiatives here. 

Seljak: Cozy Comfort with a Conscience

Seljak makes the warmest blankets (trust us, we’ve put them to the test), out of 100% recycled materials (both pre and post production). Their composition includes 100% recycled; polyester, wool and recycled textiles blends. The exact composition of each blanket is specified on their website.

They also reuse any returned blankets, and their own production waste. It’s completely circular, and in our opinion - a very worthy textile model. 

You can read more about them here.


The Great Wrap: Wrapped in Waste

The guys at the Great Wrap might not need an introduction; they’re the guys that make cling wrap out of food waste.  Very cool, we know. What is even better (apart from their cute cling wrap dispensers) is the fact that they also make pallet wrap - a notoriously wasteful but genuinely unavoidable part of making almost any product.

We have searched high and low for a statistic on how much palette wrap is used around Australia and New Zealand, but it does seem like a black hole of waste.

Thankfully, between Great Wrap, and our recycling partners Reground, we’ve got ours covered. 

You can read more about them here

Us: Refill, Return, Reuse

A shameless pat on the back for yours truely, for continuously finding new ways in which we can utilise our waste and keep it in circulation, and out of landfill.

Our Refill, Return program has already eliminated at least 80 tonnes of plastic, and that number is growing drastically. It's a system that over the years we've hammered away at - introducing new systems to correct blips we've discovered. 

You can read more about how this works here.
Anna Bolitho