"There may have been guns involved" - Greg Lavery's journey to founding a circular economy business
Play • 39 min

"If there was a moment that said something was wrong in this world to me..."

With that opening, my ears perked up. Villagers forced off an island ("there may have been guns involved" !?!!?) to make way for a power station designed to last only for 7 years.

I guess if you hear that violence and environmental damage are involved in a project you've been asked to design, you'd probably pull back and think again.

Which is what Greg Lavery did. Seeing the wanton human and environmental damage being caused in the name of business made him think hard about what he needed to do to make a positive difference.

He went back to a postgraduate study in sustainability and the circular economy, and after a systematic review of areas where he could make the most environmental impact, he set up Rype Office to make office furniture.

Office furniture???  Really?

Actually, yes, really. Did you know that over the lifetime of a building, 30% of its greenhouse gas emissions are related to furniture? I didn't.

In this episode of the Karmic Capitalist, Greg talks about the need for purpose-led companies to make sure that they're viable, and that positive impact alone does not a sustainable business make. It is essential to produce something that the market actually wants. 

Rype's proposition fits squarely into that description, with office furniture designed and manufactured to be affordable, beautiful and sustainable.

Rype also demonstrates one of the things I love most about companies with purpose-led cultures. That when they see a difference that they can make along the way to their core purpose, they just dive in and fix it.

Which is how Rype also comes to employ disabled long-term unemployed staff as a part of its strategy.

Great to talk to Greg not only about Rype's story, but its strategy, fundraising, and future trajectory.

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