Exeter University MBA Circular Economy Sprint Challenge with Bamboo Clothing

On Thursday 14th and 15th of November, we joined forces with IDEO to set the University of Exeter’s MBA students a 48 hour design sprint, to fuel fresh development ideas on circular economy and ways of implementing them at Bam.

We’re extremely grateful for the commitment and passion the students showed during the collaboration, guided by Merryn our sustainability expert, founder David Gordon and our sustainability consultant Simon Brown. We’re proud to reveal that Simon has been working closely with us behind the scenes, having spent the last 15 years helping hundreds of businesses including H&M and M&S embed sustainable solutions. 

The sprint has gained coverage from the BBC and Heart Radio. We were delighted to announce team ExElle as the winning team, who pitched their eco-friendly subscription model to influence circular behaviour, as well as proposing new digital technologies.

“Collaborating with Exeter University’s MBA students was a reminder of how healthy it is to talk, exchange ideas and move the world forward to a better place.  This is how sustainable practice and circular economy ideas become reality.  End of life use for garments, rather than simply throwing them away, needs to become a reality as soon as possible and we’re working on it” David Gordon, Founder


“These MBA students hailed from all over the world have perfectly demonstrated the value of diverse ways of thinking, in solving some of the greatest business challenges and opportunities facing the clothing industry. They represent the future of this industry and were given the chance to contribute to a real business to solve real challenges and come up with business ideas that would be put to use. They did the job brilliantly.” Simon Brown, Positive Momentum 

What is a circular economy and why is it better?

53 million tonnes of fibre are produced annually for the garment industry, with a staggering 73% of the clothing ending up in landfill or being incinerated. The harmful world of fashion has led us to buy into a linear and unsustainable system, of take, make and waste. The circular economy creates a system where resources are renewable, where products and services are designed to avoid waste.

As a business with sustainable & ethical values at our core, we already do some really positive things which align with the circular model, choosing raw materials with the lowest impact like bamboo and organic cotton and removing plastic from our packaging. We’re committed to taking responsibility for the entire life cycle of our products and finding ways to close the loop, so our products never end up in landfill.


Bam Exeter Circular Fashion Blog Winners Bamboo Clothing


‘We see circularity as a key aspect of any truly sustainable clothing brand of the future. Working with Exeter University, leaders in the circular economy, has been a fantastic opportunity for Bam to explore different ways we can push our business further and lead the way in this area.’ Merryn, Bamboo Clothing’s Sustainability Expert




We would like to say a huge thank you to Fiona Charnley, Associate Professor of Circular Economy and Co-Director of the Centre of Circular Economy for her key part in organising the sprint.

“Collaborating with BAM as part of our MBA Design Challenge has provided our students with a fantastic opportunity to re-think Fashion of the Future. As a result they are highly engaged and passionate about the Circular Economy and presented BAM with a plethora of innovative ideas including new bio-inspired materials, the use of digital technology to enable circular business models and the introduction of a subscription-based service for clothing basics. I can’t wait to see how these ideas influence Bam’s business!” Fiona Charnley, Associate Professor of Circular Economy and Co-Director of the Centre for Circular Economy



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