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future-retail-2018

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06 FUTURE OF RETAIL Don't let our shopping really cost the Earth I n the Swedish city of Eskilstuna 70 miles west of Stockholm, the ReTuna Återbruksgalleria mall looks like any other shopping centre. For all intents and purposes it is, except for one notable diff er- ence – nothing on sale is new. ReTuna is the world's fi rst recy- cling mall, dedicated to repaired, recycled and upcycled goods. Opened in August 2015 and owned by the local municipality, it is man- aged by local non-profi t organisa- tions and businesses. The idea originated from the local authority's plans for meet- ing its European Union waste man- agement targets. Rather than open an additional recycling centre, Eskilstuna officials saw an oppor- tunity to create a commercial entity that contributes to sustain- able living. "The idea for the shopping mall came out of the need to have a place where you can buy new things that economy. "We're starting to see much more interest in upcycling, recycling and circularity across the industry," says Jason Kibbey, chief executive of the Sustainable Apparel Coalition. "Clothing and fashion giants are experimenting with new models to take back and resell their products." Running a recycling mall, how- ever, is not without its challenges. Ms Bergström says that one of ReTuna's biggest challenges is sell- ing textile products. While repaired electronics and upcycled furniture are very popular, it's harder to shift secondhand clothes. "We don't have any really good designers who could redesign clothes that you would want to have," she says. However, Ms Bergström remains hopeful and believes malls like ReTuna will be the future of retail, concluding: "If businesses can see that you can make money and also be sustainable, everybody will want to change." the mall being an example of con- scious living. Ms Bergström believes these goals can exist harmoniously. "Instead of talking about how much waste we have reduced, we talk about the turn over," she says. One way to measure the success of the mall is to think about its turn- around as the number of products reused rather than thrown away. The 2016 turnover was (Swedish krona) SEK8.1 million (£710,000) and in 2017 it rose to SEK10.2 mil- lion (£894,000). ReTuna's model is a textbook example of the circular economy in action, in which used goods are put back into the supply chain rather than binned. The concept is one promoted by the World Economic Forum which, in a 2014 report, estimated the economic gain from material savings alone to be more than $1 trillion a year. Larger retailers are also begin- ning to look at the circular to furniture and electronics. The shop owners then repair or upcy- cle the goods and sell them on for a profi t. "We want to save the planet and make money out of it," adds Ms Bergström. ReTuna is open seven days a week and receives around 700 vis- itors every day. In a city of 100,000 inhabitants, the numbers are enough for the store owners to keep their doors open and employ one staff member. Like any other sustainable busi- ness, green goals are baked into the model so while the mall aims to be profi t-making, it also has environ- mental targets to hit. The store own- ers are interested in profi t, whereas the municipality is concerned with waste reduction, job creation and Consumers are becoming more mindful of the impact on the environment of their purchasing decisions are upcycled or repaired," says Anna Bergström, ReTuna's co-founder. "We wanted to see how we could reuse things that were typically thought of as waste." While ReTuna was opened for environmental reasons, it's now being looked to as a pioneer- ing model for combating one of retail's biggest challenges – waste. A recent report by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation found that less than 1 per cent of material used to produce clothing is recy- cled into new clothing, and the estimated cost to the UK economy of landfilling clothing and house- hold textiles each year is approxi- mately £82 million. At ReT una, the founders want to demonstrate that combating waste can be commercia lly via- ble. "We r un the ma ll like any other ma ll," says Ms Bergström. "Ever y thing we do is the same as in other ma lls; the thing that is different is our products." Locals donate goods to the mall ranging from clothes and books ReTuna Återbruksgalleria, the world's fi rst recycling mall We want to save the planet and make money out of it ANNA CODREA-RADO MINDFUL SHOPPING ReTuna Mindful shopping is a trend among consumers who strive to make more eco-driven purchases. A mantra popular among these consumers is that of "buy less, buy better", as shoppers want to know about the values of the company behind their products. Global marketing research fi rm Nielsen found that 2.5 billion aspirational consumers are increasingly making spending decisions based on their social and environmental impact. "Consumers are becoming more mindful, more conscious and more educated about the decisions they make and how they impact the wider environment," says Stephen Cameron, business development director at SWRnewstar, one of the UK's largest waste management brokers. Fast fashion, with its low- cost, high-volume sales, from companies such as Zara, H&M and Primark, could be worst hit by this new mindset if steps are not taken now to prepare for a future with lower-volume purchases. "If retailers can even take one step further and encourage sensible disposal or put in place initiatives for recycling their garments with the consumer in mind, they can be even more successful," says Mr Cameron. "Those retailers that take action now to address the sustainability of their entire supply chain will continue to thrive and really make an impact in this increasingly complex environment." Insight 'Buy less, buy better'

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