The final of the 2019 Circular Economy Hackathon is fast approaching between Infinite Attire from Arizona State University, the Re-Innova team from Tec de Monterrey University and Hexperts from UNSW – Sydney all competing to become this year’s Hackathon champions and receive the grand prize of $5000.
In 2015, the fashion industry consumed nearly 80 billion cubic meters of freshwater, emitted over a million tonnes of CO2 and produced 92 million tonnes of waste; which is set to increase 63% by 2030*. Clothing is a basic human need, but our consumption pushes beyond this necessity and is contributing to the destruction of our planet. We need to move away from the take-make-dispose model to a circular economy that designs out waste and pollution, keeps products and materials in use longer, regenerates natural systems all while making money protecting the planet and fulfilling our human needs with relation to fashion.
The challenge for this year’s event is to develop a process to re-design products and services in the fashion and textile industry that reduce waste and negative impacts on our planet in order to build economic, natural and social capital.
Why does the PLuS Alliance support the Circular Economy Hackathon?
The PLuS Alliance is a global alliance addressing global challenges around health, social justice, sustainability, technology and innovation. In early 2018, leadership from PLuS Alliance member university ASU proposed the idea of hosting a pilot hackathon event to engage all PLuS Alliance universities’ students to utilize their knowledge and skills to test concepts for solving the targeted global challenges. The chosen theme was circular economy and the pilot event was co-hosted with ASU and UNSW Sydney last autumn and the challenge was the recycling of plastic waste. With the success of the pilot event, the second year of the Hackathon program was expanded to allow for non-PLuS Alliance universities to participate and compete as well. The PLuS Alliance supports the Hackathon as it is a method by which the Alliance can empower students to address local and global needs to create sustainable futures for all. The winner will be announced at the PLuS Alliance Symposium, ASU on Tuesday 12th November. This year’s judges are;
- Ji Mi Choi, Associate Vice President, Entrepreneurship and Innovation, ASU
- Paul Ramadge, Managing Director, PLuS Alliance
- Scientia Professor Veena Sahajwalla, Australian Research Council Laureate Fellow Director, ARC Green Manufacturing Research Hub Director, Centre for Sustainable Materials Research and Technology, UNSW - Sydney
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