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Startups and festival-goers develop sustainable solutions together at this year’s Roskilde Festival

Through Roskilde Festival’s new entrepreneurial initiative, The Circular Laboratory, startups and young companies will have the opportunity to test, develop and improve their sustainable solutions. And it’s all done in collaboration with festival-goers.

Old acquaintances happily forgotten, a camp with bad music taste and too big speakers, or a game of beer bowling that absolutely had to be kept going. There’s a chance to bump into a bit of everything when you’re strutting around Roskilde Festival.

But this year, guests will also get to meet all the startups who, through Roskilde Festival’s new entrepreneurial initiative, The Circular Laboratory, are testing, interacting and developing their product with the audience. The idea is that this will give the companies a unique opportunity to gain insights that they can then use on their growth journey.

Read also Roskilde Festival turns up the ambition: Startup initiative gets “more muscle

” Sharedrobes is behind a sustainable app platform that makes it easy to swap clothes and trade circularly with other users

The Danish startup Sharedrobes is behind a sustainable app platform that makes it easy to swap clothes with each other, organize the wardrobe and, through the concept of ‘clothing as a currency,’ trade circularly solely by exchanging your own clothes or virtual coins gained from previous trades.

“We are a tech platform that is digital by nature, but we get an incredible amount of value from being able to meet and talk to our audience physically. It helps validate the concept, create awareness and get to know our users in a different way,” says Maria Clemmensen, founder and CEO of fashion tech company Sharedrobes.

Sustainable festival constructions

Elsewhere at Roskilde Festival, the product will be used physically when the company tests the waters with happy festival-goers.

SAML is a circular building system made for temporary structures such as pavilions, stalls and stands.

This is the case for the start-up SAML, a circular building system made for temporary structures such as pavilions, stalls and stands. The principle is based on gentle brackets and bolts, which means that the wood can be used again and again and a wide range of construction possibilities.

“We have created what is essentially a large-scale construction kit that can be assembled and disassembled again and again, and which is a sustainable alternative to making temporary structures,” says Lasse Bruun Korsholm, one of the three entrepreneurs behind SAML.

The Danish startup is participating in the Circular Laboratory with an open approach to their own product. In fact, they want to explore the social aspect of how guests assemble the constructions and stress test the wood in real festival environments.

“We invited a lot of festival goers to come and build their own camping tables and chairs to see how they approached the task and where, we can make work even easier. This will be important knowledge when we further develop the company,” explains Lasse Bruun Korsholm.

Design your own shoe


people behind sustainable fashion company VAER also brought an exploratory approach to their booth at the Circular Laboratory.

The start-up, which produces upcycled sneakers from surplus textiles, was at Roskilde Festival to connect with their customers, raise awareness and, not least, test out a new concept.

VAER produces upcycled sneakers from surplus textile.

“The festival has been a great opportunity to test the waters in terms of customers being able to design their own shoes. We provide some framework and some color choices, and then they can just go for it,” says Lili Dreyer, founder of VAER.

Upcycling can usually be a difficult proposition for manufacturers, who don’t have continuous access to materials and therefore find it hard to scale production. But through a steady source of textiles from work clothes and jeans, the startup can create a framework for what the shoes might look like.

“We’ve gotten concrete input and great insight into what choices people make, how much they’d be willing to wear a pair of the shoes, and what it would take for them to want to give it a go. In addition to the great awareness of our brand, it is this insight in particular that we will take forward as we embark on the next phase of testing and production,” says Lili Dreyer.

Pallets – over and over and over

When festivals, big events and popular gatherings go ahead, it’s often with heavy use of pallets to transport everything from speakers to grandstand structures, which are then put in a warehouse somewhere in the corner. But why not think of them as resources?

That’s the question posed by startup Mellow Designs, behind a range of sustainable and circular metal brackets for constructing everything from tables to stalls. The fittings ensure that pallets have a much longer and more climate-friendly life.

Mellow Designs is behind a range of circular metal brackets for construction with EUR pallets.

“We have designed a non-invasive intervention that allows the pallets, which otherwise should not be used for transport if they have been screwed in, to be used again and again,” explains Emil Aarestrup Ellegaard, one of the founders of Mellow Designs.

The product is called Mellow Joints by the three DTU entrepreneurs, and the process with the Circular Laboratory has not only attracted the attention of visitors, but also given the start-up a number of new advantages.

“Through the startup initiative, we have made a lot of contacts and learned a lot through the workshops organised by the Circular Laboratory. Now the dream is to get out to as many events and festivals as possible so that we can use the resources we have in a much more sustainable way,” says Emil Aarestrup Ellegaard.

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