Retailer offers £1m in grants for ideas that will develop a more circular economy

The owner of John Lewis and Waitrose is encouraging charities to apply for up to £300,000 in funding for projects that can accelerate the transition towards a more circular economy.

The John Lewis Partnership has launched The Circular Future Fund with £1m for projects that aim to bring an end to the high street’s “make, use, throwaway" model.

Charities, academics and start-ups that have ideas with the potential to reduce the environmental impact of food, clothing and gadgets are invited to apply.

The fund was raised from sales of 10p plastic bags and will provide grants between £150,000 and £300,000. 

Marija Rompani, director of ethics and sustainability at the John Lewis Partnership, said that solving issues such as climate change, biodiversity loss, waste and pollution would require a different kind of thinking. 

“We live in a world of finite materials and we need to start protecting them before it’s too late," she said. 

“This is why we’re particularly looking for projects that are regenerative and can eliminate waste or pollution from the design stage and ultimately protect nature.”  

The John Lewis Partnership is partnering with environmental charity Hubbub to support the chosen projects and measure the impact of the grants. 

Saskia Restorick, director of the charity, said: “If we want to tackle climate change and reduce our environmental impact, we have to place more value on the goods we produce, buy and use.

“We are looking forward to working with the winning applicants to help make sure their projects are a success.” 

Applications for the fund will close on 9 January. 

For more information about the type of projects the fund will target and how to apply click here. 

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