John Lewis and Hubbub team up on £1m circular economy fund

The UK’s largest employee-owned business, John Lewis Partnership, has announced a new £1m fund to support “trailblazing ideas and innovations” for the circular economy. 

The Circular Future Fund, announced yesterday, will be administered by Hubbub, an environmental charity whose social enterprise arm is a former NatWest SE100 award winner

The fund will offer grants of £150,000 to £300,000 to projects in the areas of food, textiles or household products, technology or services that rethink waste and “challenge the  outdated ‘take, make, dispose’  model”. UK charities, community interest companies, social enterprises, academic bodies and startups are all eligible to apply.

This fund will back projects that challenge the  outdated ‘take, make, dispose’  model

Grantees will also receive support for one year from Hubbub, which will work with them to ensure their projects are a success. Lessons learned and results from funded projects will be shared to enable others to build on and amplify their impact.  

Applications are now open and the deadline is 9 January 2022. 


‘Empowering pioneers’

John Lewis Partnership has donated over £2m in the past few years to support organisations that tackle plastic pollution, according to the company. The new fund is designed to broaden its impact by “empowering pioneers to drive industry-wide change”.

The fund follows the Plan Plastic scheme, delivered by Hubbub in 2019 on behalf of Waitrose & Partners, the supermarket brand owned by the partnership. Plan Plastic awarded grants to five organisations with innovative ideas to cut plastic waste. 

John Lewis Partnership announced plans earlier this year to help combat the national housing shortage by building 10,000 rental homes in the coming years, as part of the company’s “social purpose”.


Photo courtesy John Lewis Partnership

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