Sustainability Career Profile | Isaac Nichelson, Circular-Systems (Global Change Award Recipient)

May 30, 2018


A conversation with a 20-year sustainability career professional in the textiles, fashion, branding space.


Isaac and I go way back. An early proponent of sustainability in textiles, Isaac Nichelson is a co-founder at Circular-Systems and has been optimistically leading the charge for sustainability in textiles for a good 20 years now.


Meeting him up in his home town of Malibu, CA, I was able to pin down Isaac for an hour at a local restaurant between meetings to get an update on what's it's been like since recently winning an Global Change Award from the H&M Foundation; a prestigious honor with a monetary prize, to boot.


Isaac is constantly on the go, and in fact, is getting ready to pack up his family for a summer move to Portugal to further pursue the circular economy opportunities that are going on in Europe right now, and to just offer his family an exciting opportunity (and to maybe catch a few waves while he's over there).


In this episode, Isaac and I discuss his earliest days of discovering sustainable textiles (1998), all the brands he's been able to work with (House of Marley being one of them), the ups and downs of entrepreneurship, and the exciting advancements that are on the horizon when it comes to fashion, sustainability, innovation, and the circular economy.


We walked down memory lane as Isaac talks about his early days in the snowboarding industry, discovering sustainable alternatives, forming brands, working with world class brands, and now hoping to lead the circular economy with a new startup. The future is wide open. 


Below are some links to some of the things we discussed:


Global Change Award


Livity Outernational

House of Marley

Recover Textiles

MSI/Sustainable Apparel Coalition

Marci Zaroff

The Art of Stopping Time, Pedram Shojai

The Ecology of Commerce, Paul Hawken

Cradle to Cradle, William McDonough and Michael Braungart






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©2017 Derek A. Sabori, The Underswell.