This spring, we welcomed over 30 small businesses to the 2022 cohort of our Circular Economy Leaders Network. Each business is based in the Chicagoland area, has fewer than 20 employees, and brings to the network a passion for circular economy work and connecting with other local small businesses. Below is Part Three of a three-part series announcing CELN 2022 members!
FuFluns' Foods grows a variety of adaptogenic herbs and fungi, artisanally crafted and transformed into a variety of vegan supplements. Their products range from CBD tinctures/capsules to mushroom tinctures and pure cacao. FuFluns’ Foods aims to secure circular packaging for select product refill options.
DreamCatcher Cafe is a coffee shop, yoga studio, and event space launching in the Back of the Yards neighborhood, with a goal of opening by the end of 2022. The intention of DreamCatcher Cafe is to provide a safe, healing space for local residents. DreamCatcher Cafe aims to offer package-free coffee through bulk dispensers and a bring-your-own-cup initiative.
Growing Home is a farm located in the Chicago neighborhood of Englewood and is the leading expert in farm-based training for people who have employment barriers. They provide 25 hands-on, paid hours of work as well as resources around navigating criminal records, medical needs, child-care, and housing. At Growing Home, they believe that everyone deserves to have a good job and to eat well. Growing Home is focused on developing and implementing partnerships for value-add products.
MB Consulting is an independent consulting firm, whose main mission is to reduce packaging waste worldwide. They offer trainings for the implementation of sustainable packaging in a variety of industries, including independent supermarkets, local farmers, restaurants, and packaged food processors. MB Consulting is working directly with CELN 2022 members as part of the Packaging Working Group series to support them on their circular packaging efforts.
NeuEve produces a wide range of feminine hygiene products, specifically to ease menopausal discomforts. All of their products are hormone-free, estrogen-free, gluten-free, soy-free, herb-free, preservative-free, and GMO-free. As part of their ongoing circular economy goal work, NeuEve wants to obtain more circular packaging, become organic-certified, as well as certified with EWG and/or other clean beauty “badges.”
Piel Bella by Jazz is a plant-based and eco-conscious beauty brand that uses locally grown ingredients for all of their products. Their products include shampoo bars, face oils, hair formulas, body butters, body scrubs, and balms. Piel Bella was built with sustainable practices in mind, using minimal to zero-waste formulations as well as fully operating on wind and solar energy! They are committed to becoming part of the local circular economy; one of their main goals for 2022 is to raise awareness of their in-person vending events, in an effort to increase local purchasing instead of ecommerce.
Pilot Project Brewing is a brewery incubator, tasting room, and cafe in Logan Square. Pilot works as a launch pad for start-up breweries, and offers assistance by fine-tuning recipes, helping in production, business development, management, and more. They are community-focused and partner with many different local breweries. Pilot Project Brewing’s goals include becoming a zero-waste facility, reducing their energy/waster usage, utilizing more local products through partnerships, and creating a sustainability brewers community to share ideas and collectively work towards a more sustainable industry.
Speculative Surfaces is currently manufacturing and distributing bacteria nanocellulose leather (BNC) at a small scale. They are also collaborating with Komunity Kombucha to develop a line of biodegradable tissue paper and packaging material to use in gift boxes. Another goal of Speculative Surfaces is to transition to more energy efficient practices, like preventing material waste and contamination during production.