William McDonough

Co-Founder, Fashion For Good
United States
Listed Since
William McDonough is a distinguished architect and designer, acclaimed globally for his pioneering contributions to sustainable development. In 2019, he earned a spot among the 50 World's Greatest Leaders, acknowledging his profound impact on the field. McDonough stands out as a thought leader, particularly in Cradle to Cradle Design™ and the Circular Economy. His co-authorship of "Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things" in 2002 established him as a pivotal figure in the circular economy design movement.

As the founder of McDonough Innovation and the leader of William McDonough + Partners and MBDC, he actively advises world leaders. His role in co-founding the Sustainable Packaging Coalition in 2009 underscores his commitment to promoting reusable, recyclable, compostable, and recoverable packaging solutions. McDonough is also a key figure in Fashion for Good, a collaborative initiative aiming to transform the global apparel chain into a positive force.

Throughout his illustrious career, McDonough has received numerous accolades, including the U.S. Presidential Award for Sustainable Development in 1996 and the U.S. Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award in 2003. He chaired the inaugural Global Meta-Council on the Circular Economy for the World Economic Forum and was honored with the Fortune Award for Circular Economy Leadership in 2017.

In academia, McDonough has been a faculty member at Stanford University since 2004, previously serving as the A.D. White Professor-at-Large at Cornell University (1999-2004) and as Dean of the School of Architecture at the University of Virginia (1994-1999).

Time magazine recognized him as a "Hero for the Planet," acknowledging the tangible impact of his unified philosophy on global design. McDonough's commitment to reshaping industries is evident in his collaboration with Fashion for Good, where he advocates for a Cradle to Cradle Circular Economy and the Five Goods framework: Good Materials, Good Economy, Good Energy, Good Water, and Good Lives.

Under McDonough's guidance, Fashion for Good's Accelerator Program has welcomed 13 new startups in its seventh batch. This program provides office space, mentorships, and connections to an investor network, fostering innovation and sustainable practices in the fashion industry. McDonough's vision encourages collaborative efforts across the apparel and fashion value chains to create products that benefit both people and the Earth. The selected innovators in the seventh batch showcase diverse solutions, from Bear Fiber and Cooltrans Technology to Recycrom and Tinctorium, all aligned with the Five Goods framework.

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