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Cradle-to-cradle design

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Cradle-to-cradle design (sometimes C2C, cradle 2 cradle, or Regenerative design) is a biomimetic philosophy and practice of design. It approaches design and production as a system, using nature's processes as a model. Materials are viewed as nutrients circulating in a metabolismW.

It is a holistic economic and industrial ramework for efficiency and the elimination of waste.[1] See No such thing as waste.

Cradle to cradle is applicable to industrial design, manufacturing, urban environments, buildings - and more controversially to economics and even social systems.


The term was coined by Walter R. Stahel in Switzerland in the 1970s,[2] applied by the Interface carpet company in the mid-1990s (working with Amory Lovins, Paul Hawken and others), and popularized by William McDonough.

Waste separation[edit]

See Waste#Waste separation It should be noted that the cradle-to-cradle envisions far better separation as what's currently done. For example, plastics can then be recycled rather than burned. See Plastics_recovery_manual_4


McDonough divides categorises recycling into Upcycling and Downcycling. The first describes a method of recyling in which the waste material is made more pure, allowing its use in more products/processes. The latter makes the waste material more contaminated with other materials, making it usable in less products/materials.

Examples of finished products[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. Lovins, L. Hunter (2008). Rethinking production in State of the World 2008, pp. 38–40.
  2. Green Guru Gone Wrong: William McDonough, Fast Company, November 1, 2008.
  3. Nike Considered
  4. Rohner textile Climatex as cradle-to-cradle certified textile
  5. Biofoam

External links[edit]