Why I co-founded MaterialTrader.com with circularity in mind

Sustainable development concept. 3D illustration on wooden background.

When I co-founded MaterialTrader.com, my core drive was two-fold: to validate this circular business concept of closing material loops by facilitating the trade of used raw materials, and to prove that operating sustainably and making money can go hand in hand. Because let’s be honest, there is more to life than running a business solely to make money. Ultimately, we wanted to see if we could turn a profit while doing good for the planet – and I’m proud to say we’ve succeeded. This is the story of how our circular vision for MaterialTrader.com made it far more than your ordinary materials marketplace. 

Trading materials to save the planet

In the world’s current linear take-make-waste economy, the materials used to create our products will all come to a wasteful end, while depleting the earth of its limited natural resources. MaterialTrader wants to be one of the driving forces in the transition towards a circular economy, in which materials are recycled-consumed-reused and no material exits the system as waste. By facilitating the trade of secondary and used materials, we enable sellers to turn their waste into profit and buyers to source their materials sustainably – all of which contribute to a more environmentally conscious materials industry. Through this, we are proving that doing good for the environment is financially viable.

The evolution of MaterialTrader.com

When MaterialTrader.com just started out, it was a marketplace focused on facilitating the trade of raw materials to stimulate their reuse and recycling. Since then, the marketplace has evolved into an online platform consisting of the Materials Marketplace, Business Directory, and Circular Community.

This evolution came about out of a desire to bring entities together – not just for trade or business, but also to stimulate knowledge sharing around the viability of sustainable business models. Particularly, the Circular Community aims to raise awareness around the necessity of the circular economy and to popularize circular business practices; meanwhile, the Business Directory aims to provide business operators with a way to discover and connect with other businesses that are also involved in materials and their (circular) trade. 

Through these three outlets, we hope to provide an ecosystem that supports the circular economy through the exchange of not only materials but also knowledge and business expertise on implementing circular business practices.

The valuable part you play in our path to circularity

Of course, we could not have done any of this without you, our valued users. By participating in any of MaterialTrader’s key pillars – whether as a trader on the Materials Marketplace, listing your company on our Business Directory, or contributing to the conversation on the Circular Community – you’ve helped us validate our business concept and, ultimately, forward the circular economy. For that, we’d like to thank you.

It is our hope that we continue to see you on our platform, as we walk this path to circularity together. Let’s innovate the materials industry together!

Bas Hekman, CEO and Co-founder of MaterialTrader.com

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