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Leading the way to a Circular Economy

Posted: 27th January 2021

You could say that Lothians-based Dyno Dog Gear is taking a lead role in creating a more Circular Economy…

The company is a classic example of innovative thinking to create a new use for an old product – and in the process creating a business opportunity and helping our economy become more sustainable in the process.

Creating dog leads from old climbing ropes is proving to be so popular that the company plans to introduce new products to its range in the near future. And they are working with Circular Edinburgh in the process.

A circular economy looks to keep the flow of materials and products within the economy for as long as possible, extracting the maximum value from them whilst in use.

The Circular Edinburgh project is supported as part of Zero Waste Scotland’s Resource Efficient Circular Economy Accelerator Programme, which will invest £73m in circular economy and resource efficiency projects, thanks to support from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). This programme provides funding and support for small and medium sized businesses in Scotland to be more resource efficient and create a more circular economy.

Monika Mendelova, of Dyno Dog Gear, said: “Like many other climbers, I had a couple of retired climbing ropes sitting in my cupboard. Although no longer safe for climbing, they had plenty of life left in them and no obvious alternative use in an Edinburgh tenement.

“I thought about it, and so I started my mission to save retired climbing ropes from going to landfill and create functional, long-lasting and eye-catching dog leashes, and hopefully other products soon.”

Dyno Dog Gear is directly based on a circular economy model. The lifespan of a climbing rope is 3-5 years with moderate usage. The maximum recommended lifespan is normally 10 years even if a rope has never been used. Dynamic climbing ropes are made from nylon, which can be reprocessed, but no recycling schemes exist in Scotland. By creating dog leads, ropes are directly upcycled into a new long-lasting product.

Monika added: “I think there are opportunities in every sector. We shouldn’t limit ourselves by what is possible now, we need to actively seek new opportunities, innovate, re-design and scale up. We should to take the opportunity to restructure our economy post-pandemic.

“It will naturally be easier for some businesses than others. Every business can start by asking simple questions like ‘Is my product designed to last and be easily repairable? What happens to it when it is no longer fit for the purpose? Can materials be easily re-used? Where do I source materials and how sustainable are they?”

On a national scale, she believes that Scotland can play a leading role through its commitment, but that more can still be done: “A strong commitment, investment to scale up innovations, policy changes that incentivise refurbishment, remanufacturing, use of sustainable materials and products that are made to last and be easily repaired, and last but not least behavioural changes would all help.

“However, in today’s globalised economy and with many consumer goods produced abroad, no country can achieve this on their own, and international cooperation is crucial.”

For further information please visit or contact Mayan Grace or Lauren Ridgley on 0131 221 2999 (option 5) or email

Business Comment

Business Comment is the Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce’s bi-monthly magazine. It provides insight on Edinburgh’s vibrant business community, with features on the city’s key sectors, interviews with leading figures and news on new business developments in the capital.
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