Big industry wants to transform, and makers have an important role to play in inspiring innovation, according to Andrew Morlet, Chief Executive of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation.
Speaking to us at the end of the Climate Change Conference he said that ‘COP26’s biggest success isn’t Net Zero targets – it’s the momentum for change it is driving in all areas.’ He added that, while more ambitious energy targets are clearly needed in some countries to keep the 1.5 degrees climate target alive, we now have key industrial sectors that are ready to change and the world’s biggest investors are signalling they will channel capital into green innovations. ‘Craft and art can play a role in shifting mindsets - they have an influence that is hard to quantify on a spreadsheet,’ he said.
Morlet, who took on the role of Chair of the Trustees for the Crafts Council in July and who co-founded a textiles printing studio in Sydney in his 20s, also spoke about how an appreciation for craft encourages people to have a different relationship to materials and objects, which is vital for stemming the tide of consumption. ‘We need fewer and better objects and products that we will repair and treasure, which is where craft and design come in,’ he said. ‘By eliminating waste and creating products that can be in use for far longer – that can be repaired, upgraded and manufactured, and ultimately returned to the ecosystem, rather than discarded as landfill – we will ensure we get a much higher return on materials value and invested energy.’
While he predicts we’ll see ‘massive change in the next five to ten years', we shouldn’t expect it to happen in the immediate aftermath of COP26. ‘It’s one frame of the movie, not the movie itself.’
Read on for the full interview…