“During the Industrial Revolution resources seemed inexhaustible and nature was viewed as something to be tamed and civilized”, wrote William McDonough and Michael Braungart back in 1998 in an article in the Atlantic Monthly.
“Recently, however, some leading industrialists have begun to realize that traditional ways of doing things may not be sustainable over the long term. ‘What we thought was boundless has limits,’ Robert Shapiro, the chairman and chief executive officer of Monsanto, said in a 1997 interview, ‘and we’re beginning to hit them.'”
Since then McDonough and Braungart have published their ideas on the reshaping of human industry through “eco-effective” design in a manifesto entitled Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things. They’ve also put their ideas for the “Next Industrial Revolution” into practice for some of America’s largest companies, like Ford and Nike.
In part 4 of McDonough’s speech on Cradle to Cradle design, he talks about helping businesses clean up their production and how they helped create fabric so clean “you can eat it” and factories that emit water that is so clean you can drink it.