Circular economy: Bringing the intellectually ambitious concept to life (Florence Wild)

Thomson Foundation wil journalisten met een specifieke focus op het milieu of de circulaire economie ondersteunen. In gesprek met medewerker Florence Wild heb ik het over de kansen, maar ook de uitdagingen van deze niche als onderzoeksjournalist.

For journalists across several beats and in particular in relation to sustainability, the circular economy is likely something they have had to wrap their heads around. 

Explainers on the overall concept are plentiful (and risk taking you down a rabbit hole), yet editors in particular prefer specific examples of the circular – or not so circular – economy in action. 


Sarah Vandoorne, a Belgian investigative journalist, has focused on the textile industry since the collapse of the Rana Plaza factory building in Dhaka, Bangladesh. In her reporting, she has combined an investigative approach into the labour rights of garment workers as well as environmental pollution from textile dyeing with a more solutions-based lens, highlighting good practices and questioning dominant narratives.

Covering aspects of both the linear and the circular economy in the textile industry have led her to contemplate on her role as a journalist in a world with resource scarcity: “I became a journalist out of idealism. In this light, this beat is a very interesting one to cover. But it also includes pitfalls, as people with different agendas (industry related or not) are using the same discourse as the true change-makers. So how do I tell the difference? And how do I remain unbiased? While at the same time realising, as an idealist, of course I’m biased. The thing is: my only bias is saving our environment (trying to, at least) and challenging structural inequality.”

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