1 September 2022

Circularity Tales: accelerating green impact in Barcelona

In June 2022, Impact Hub Barcelona ended on a successful note the first edition of “Raíz”, a programme focused on supporting and incubating startups and new companies that want to integrate circularity principles into their business models and value propositions. 

Over a period of 3 months, Impact Hub Barcelona promoted training on relevant topics – circular economy, impact measurement and management, systems thinking, marketing, sales, etc. – and worked side by side with a team of more than thirty mentors and the five participating entrepreneurs to boost and develop their skills, connections and confidence before going to market.

Meet the 5 participating startups of Raíz’s first edition

The winning project of Raíz’s first edition was
Sustein Material, a startup driven by Simon Gonzalez that addresses the reuse of healthcare waste for construction materials. Did you know that 100% of the sanitary waste discarded in hospitals and health centers ends up in landfills or incinerated? Through his project, Simon says “enough is enough” and proposes to extend the 15 minutes of useful life that these materials usually have by converting them into material for housing construction.

Simon won a membership to Impact Hub Barcelona space for the next few months. ”A great prize”, as he considers that being part of the community throughout the time he participated in the program has been key to the development of his project. “Impact Hub has brought me synergies and new social circles, both with the people who work here, as well as the members of the community with whom I have been able to connect,” he says. 

Ston Agona has also participated in the incubation program, which is an urban sneaker made from recycled and vegan material driven by Sergio Muñoz Fernández. Although his product is not yet on the market, Sergio says that “I have learned to create a narrative about the circularity of our sneakers thanks to Raíz”. 

Led by architect Adriana Rodríguez, another participating venture is Arova Arquitectura, which is an architecture and interior design studio that gives a second life to construction waste. “And in this case, we already have a success story to tell!”, shares Impact Hub Barcelona. “Shortly after finishing the program, Adriana has managed to sign a collaboration agreement with Fundació Roure to manage the waste from her own renovations.” Amazing!

This is Ours is all about renting, monetizing, premiering and having fun. This clothing rental platform of major brands promotes circular fashion and luxury clothing without renouncing to take care of the planet. The project, which has been going on for a while now, was created by Vanessa Filippa Teixeira and accompanied by Eva María Mendoza Díez.

Finally, Midori also participated in the program. A gamification app created by Alejandro Ponce to lead a more circular lifestyle that renounces throwaway practices. Midori is one of the startups in Raíz with the longest success track record and work done. In fact, this is how they were described in El Periódico a few months ago.

Impact Hub Barcelona’s circularity learned lessons

Throughout the program, Impact Hub Barcelona has promoted several events in the framework of the program, organized and coordinated by
Marina Medina Camps, main responsible of Raíz. Their main purpose has been to accompany the five selected startups, as well as creating and disseminating content related to the circular economy. 

Among others, Impact Hub Barcelona organized a round-table discussion entitled Consumption and activism moderated by Gisela Ibáñez, activist for the transformation towards sustainability and chief operations manager at Go Zero Waste. Participants included Sònia Flotats, journalist specialized in sustainability and creator of the fashion and sustainable trends magazine So Good So Cute; Anna Badia, promoter of regenerative agriculture and Llorenç Witty, workshop leader and educator on the ecosocial transition. 

During the event, the involved parties reflected about the lack of information, transparency and mislabeling by big brands, which make it difficult for consumers to make more sustainable and responsible purchases. While governments suggest some policy solutions to these obstacles, there’s an imminent individual challenge: to practice critical consumption incorporating ethical, social and solidarity values. The conception of responsible and conscious companies is fundamental to help people in this individual challenge. In this sense, at Impact Hub Barcelona they aim to accompany entrepreneurs who want to change the world and Raíz has been a triumph on that behalf.

Circularity Tales at Impact Hub Barcelona

If you and your company are also concerned about the future and want to be part of the change, help Impact Hub Barcelona make the second edition of the program a reality!

Circularity is part of our broader Environmental Strategy – discover how Impact Hub Global Network is addressing our time’s most pressing issues here. For more inspiring stories like this, head to our blog.

To learn from already-tested approaches, discover new activities and opportunities to integrate the Circular Economy knowledge into your entrepreneur support programs design and implementation, discover our toolkit!