The Circular Cambridge Festival

Transforming throwaway culture, and changing our relationship with stuff


November 12, 11am - 4pm
Wesley Methodist Church, Christ's Pieces, CB1 1LG

Join the fun

The Circular Cambridge Festival seeks to keep the conversation going about climate change by reconsidering our throwaway culture and changing our relationship with stuff. 40% of global climate emissions arise from the items we consume. We passionately believe that we need to move from a linear take - use - dispose model to a circular one. A model in which the value of everything is maximised, where the goods of today become the resources of tomorrow, and where we understand that when it comes to throwing away, there is no 'away'.  In this new model, we would access many of the things we want by renting, sharing and exchanging rather than owning.

Come to the Festival and experience the circular economy for yourself. Hear from one of the UK's leading environmentalists, enjoy a climate themed piano suite, get your broken gadget fixed at a Repair Cafe, enjoy a free film festival (organised by Pivotal), try a tandem or electric bike, enjoy a story from the Cambridge Bard, swap some clothes at a swish, meditate, contribute to an art piece and get circular updates from our city's big institutions like Addenbrookes and the University. In addition there will be stalls, a speakers corner, bike-powered short films and a chance to see again the powerful Whole Earth display that was on Parker's Piece last year. 


Event details

Swish/Clothes Swap Party 11:00 – 12:30
Join us to swap your unloved clothes for some pre-loved items. Drop off 2-6 items of clothes and accessories in good condition at 11am, and we'll sort them into a swap shop you can browse from 11:30am.

Talk from Craig Bennett, CEO of Friends of the Earth 12:30 – 13:20
The UN climate talks will be in full swing in Marrakesh on the day of the Festival. Come and hear a leading environmentalist speak on the opportunities and threats that lie before us and how we can play our part, both as a city and as individuals.

Repair Café 13:30 – 16:00
Repair Cafes match experienced repairers with people who need stuff fixed. Repairers welcome small household appliances, electrical items, computers, mobile phones, bicycles, clothes, gadgets and general bits’n’bobs. It’s best to book your item in by emailing

Speakers Corner

The circular economy at Addenbrookes 13:30 – 14:00
Richard Hales, Energy and Sustainability Manager.

The circular economy at the University of Cambridge 14:00 – 14:30
Vanessa McNiven, Institute for Manufacturing, University of Cambridge.

Owning less, wasting less and sharing more 14:30 – 15:10
Groups and individuals talk about their personal experiences of sharing schemes and putting waste to good use. With speakers from Transition Cambridge, K1 Housing, WOUP soup and more.

Film Festival

Rachel Botsman The case for Collaborative Consumption 11:00 – 11:25
Rachel Botsman is passionate about the potential of our digital connections. Learn why she thinks they can help our reduce carbon footprints.

CirculART 11:30 – 11:55
Wonderful short documentary by Cambridge TV about Cambridge Carbon Footprint’s recent CirculART project that linked 20 artists and makers with 21 local charity shops in a celebration of reuse and creativity.

The True Cost and short discussion 12:00 – 13:55
A thought provoking documentary film looking at the cost of fast fashion on people and the environment with commentary on the role of mass media and consumerism. Followed by a short facilitated discussion.

Waste Land and short discussion 14:05 – 16:00
A moving and brilliant film focusing on the lives of pickers at Brazil’s largest rubbish tip and their encounter with artist Vik Muniz. Muniz sets out to recreate incredible photographic images featuring the pickers and the waste they live in and from each day. Followed by a short facilitated discussion.

And more...

Storytelling with the Cambridge Bard 13:30 – 14:15
Be transported by Marion Leeper’s storytelling and poetry in the intimate chapel space.

Reflections on Climate Change 14:30 – 15:20
A chance to reflect on your response to the climate change challenge through guided meditation with John Turner.

Piano Suite IX: Significantus with composer Lola Perrin 15:20 – 16:00
‘Significantus’ is a piano and spoken word project. Piano Suite IX: Significantus will be performed in collaboration with Professor of Philosophy Jane Heal. Audience members are invited to make spoken word contributions.

All day Eco-gifts, CirculART and information stalls, a WOUP soup stall, bike powered short films provided by Outspoken, tandem and electric bike try-outs, Hard Rain Project’s ‘Whole Earth?’ exhibition, homemade treats from a café run by CamCRAG and a collaborative art project  conceived by artist Diana Scarborough.

This is a free event.

The Circular Cambridge Festival is part of a weekend of events linking the environment, arts, technology, community and innovation. For more information on the activities spanning Saturday evening and Sunday, and organised by Pivotal at The Museum of Technology, see