With countries preparing for a second and third wave of COVID-19 and so many people already financially impacted by the pandemic, consumers are becoming even more conscious of just how their purchases impact their purse strings – and the planet. Companies are catching on to this mindset of doing more with less by adopting a circular economy strategy – a system aimed at eliminating waste through the continual use of resources. This week we are highlighting three brands who have most recently accelerated into the world of full-circle recycling.
- A 167 year-old brand, Levi-Strauss is keeping current with stakeholder trends by launching Levi’s SecondHand. This program allows customers to sell their “beat-up” and “broken in,” or “in other words, perfect” denim for cash. It even extends a $5 store credit for items that might be a bit too well loved. This is a first for the jean industry, a program that is both sustainable and allows a wider variety of customers access to its top-of-the-line products.
- Ikea is also entering this space by creating a Buy Back program as part of its goal to become 100 percent circular by 2030. It will be launching this 26-country (not including the U.S.) initiative on Black Friday to help customers fight against the tradition of over-purchasing and to make “sustainable living more simple and accessible”. Customers selling the furniture will receive a store voucher that never expires. Buyers will be able to purchase IKEA quality furniture at a discounted price and avoid IKEA’s notorious assembly process.
- This week Adidas has begun a test launch of its new shoe, the UltraBOOST DNA LOOP. The sneakers are made to be completely recyclable and employs techniques such as using heat instead of glue and making the shoe entirely out of one material. These methods allow for the shoe to be melted down and constructed into a brand-new pair once returned by the customer. This program also is part of Adidas’ long term goal of shifting to recycled polyester in all products by 2024.
COVID-19 has challenged many of our shopping assumptions – including the lifecycles of products and how we can create something new with the old. In fact, 62 percent of Americans think companies have the opportunity, due to the pandemic, to be more thoughtful about how they incorporate sustainability into their business models moving forward. As the pandemic continues to create major mind shifts, brands can take this moment in time to reimagine what consumption looks like – to create lasting products, pre-owned options and a cycle which truly embraces sustainability at its core.