Circular Minds: Ina Budde

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Ina Budde is founder of Design for Circularity, a Berlin based startup that works as a strategic tool and platform for designers, businesses and consumers to close loops for the fashion industry. Additionally, she is designing circular fashion collections, teaching at the MA program ‘Sustainability in Fashion’ at ESMOD Berlin and part of the CRCLR House.


Where does your motivation come from to do what you do?

My passion arose from my perspective as a designer with the dedication to create products with a meaning. It was frustrating to see how the industry worked and I realized that we needed solutions to find out how the world could still go round. For such a long time people have been doing things the same way and now we’re realizing that the linear system is completely wrong. The good thing is that there is a great development and that people feel more connected in changing old models and habits. When you’re breaking up old structures, you need to relate to other people, this is why collaboration and exchange is so important. In the last few years we have talked a lot about all the challenges we’re facing, but I think that we need to bring in best practice examples into the discussion and get a more solution-oriented focus instead.


How does your work tap into circular economy?

Design for Circularity is an initiative where we try to bring solutions while being open for everyone to be involved. We don’t want to say that the burden and responsibility lie only with the designer, so we have created a coherent solution for both designers, businesses and consumers. The users can get information through interfaces on various levels: The designer can obtain knowledge and get access to materials, businesses can get insights on how to implement new, circular infrastructures and take back systems, while consumers can see how fun and easy it is to consume in an environmentally friendly and circular way while saving money. The main goal for Design for Circularity is to create an ecosystem along the whole circle. When a designer creates long lasting products with more value, the products naturally become a resource for something new, when the consumers bring it back. The products become an interconnected element that flows in circular ways between people in various relations. This way of thinking breaks up the whole idea of seeing a product as one product and a material as one material. Because a product is only one product in a certain setting with certain people but becomes a different product in another setting.


What does circularity mean to you?

Circularity to us means to use resources in the most anticipating and innovative way so that we keep their value infinitely. I really like the approach of diversity because materials have the great ability to be changed and regenerated for various purposes over time and we need to design and use them in that way. The time perspective is also super important to create diverse solutions for the different speeds and diverse scenarios of life.


What advise would you give to a young professional in your field?

Great things never came out of comfort zones. Therefore think big, always believe in what you are doing, and bring people along with you. Get started, test your idea, exchange knowledge and prove that it works. Don’t be afraid to look at the things that are already out there and build on these ideas to go a step further. Join forces with all the great visions out there!


Thank you for the interview Ina! If you’re interested in the textile cluster, you should take a look at our documentation from our Pitches Unplugged: How to Make Fashion More Circular and the Dialog: Mapping Out Berlin’s Sustainable Fashion Scene.”