ZWC 2016 – The Return of Repair and Reuse

Exterior of Scovill's Perfect Bicycles shop - 506 Richards Street, Vancouver 1904

Scovill’s Perfect Bicycles shop, Vancouver – 1904. Source: City of Vancouver archives

In an age of disposability, planned obsolescence, fast fashion, and electronic gadgets that are out-of-date 15 minutes after purchase – repair and reuse becomes a radical act. It’s also a trend that is making a comeback. How do we scale the repair and reuse revolution so that reuse is more common than replace? At the 2016 Zero Waste Conference, industry trendsetters will share their insights.

Encouraging a culture of repair and reuse can reduce waste. It can drive innovation and spur employment. Perhaps most importantly, it can change our perceptions around value and quality, so that zero-waste-friendly features such as durability, repair-ability, and re-usability are top of mind for designers, manufacturers, and consumers. Our panel for the ZWC 2016 afternoon session Repair and Reuse – Challenging obsolescence through design + behaviour change features representatives of organizations at the forefront of this return to an age-old approach.

Vice President, Recycling & Reuse, Value Village

Tony Shumpert oversees the recycling and reuse business operations for Savers (also known as Value Village and Village des Valeurs), a thrift retailer with 330 stores across the US, Canada and Australia. He is also a member of the National Zero Waste Council’s Circular Economy Working Group. Tony has been instrumental in establishing Savers as a global leader in clothing and textile reuse and recycling – expanding the scope of items diverted from landfills and enabling Savers to divert 650 million pounds of goods from reaching North American landfills in 2015 alone.

Michal Len
Director, RREUSE (EU)
michal-lenMichal Len has been Director of RREUSE since 2011, a European NGO representing social enterprises active in reuse, repair and recycling activities. The organization works to encourage the EU and national governments to move from promoting just recycling and waste management to putting secondhand first. Len specializes in European waste, product and employment policies and holds an MSc in Environmental Policy and Regulation from the London School of Economics.

Ryan Dyment
Executive Director, Institute for a Resource-Based Economy
ryan-dimentRyan is the Executive Director of the Institute for a Resource-Based Economy and the co-founder of the Toronto Tool Library (TTL). IRBE works at the intersection of economics and the environment – challenging perceptions of ownership and our relationship to the Earth’s resources. Ryan has a Bachelor of Commerce with an Honours in Accounting from McGill University. He founded IRBE in 2011.


Vanessa Timmer – moderator
Co-Founder and Executive Director, One Earth
Board Member, National Zero Waste Council
Vanessa TimmerVanessa Timmer is the Executive Director of One Earth, a Vancouver‐based “think and do tank” focused on sustainable consumption and production. One Earth is curating the New Economies theme of Cities for People, initiated by The J. W. McConnell Family Foundation – a Canada‐wide experiment in advancing a movement to create more resilient and livable cities through innovation networks. Vanessa is also an Associate with the Sustainability Science Program at Harvard University focused on innovation and holds a Doctorate in environmental studies with degrees from Queen’s University, Oxford University and UBC. She teaches sustainability and systems thinking, and co‐hosts the television show, The Sustainable Region.

In 2013, Vanessa was named one of Business in Vancouver’s Top Forty under 40. One Earth is one of the founders of the National Industrial Symbiosis Program – Canada and is also co‐leading a global campaign to create positive and compelling visions of life in sustainable futures.

The 2016 Metro Vancouver Zero Waste Conference (#ZWC2016) is an opportunity to learn from thought leaders such as our repair and reuse panelists, share ideas with like-minded colleagues, and gain a better understanding of where the shift to zero waste will take us.

Mark Nov. 3 on your calendar and register today.

Return to the 2016 Zero Waste Conference main web site


Leave a Reply