Sweden is a worldwide leader in recycling. Now they are upping the ante by opening the world’s first upcycling mall. It’s called ReTuna. The tuna part is short for Eskilstuna, the Swedish town it’s located in. The centre is much more than just a normal mall, it also includes a recycling depot, conference facility, cafe and a repair and education centre.
The concept behind ReTuna is brilliant. People can drop of their unwanted goods and browse for upcycled products in the same place. The drop off centre is a drive thru, making it as easy as possible to donate items for upcycling. The ReTuna team sort through the goods as they arrive. There are 14 speciality categories for the mall, including: furniture, clothes, toys, bikes, computers, audio equipment, gardening & building materials. Each category has it’s own shop. They all only sell second-hand items. These shops are like DIY showrooms; teaching customers how to upcycle and repair their own household items.
ReTuna is a collaboration between the local municipality, non-profits and small, local businesses. The centre has so many benefits for the community! To begin with, the government saves money in waste disposal fees. The waste is turned into profits instead, upcycling at its finest! Additionally, 50 repair and retail jobs have been created and local startups and upcyclers now have a hub to work from. The best benefit is for the general public. They are given easy access to upcycled products and can also gain knowledge on how to upcycle and repair items. Eskilstuna’s residents now have another way to be contentious consumers. Anna Bergström, centre manager says,
Sustainability is about achieving more with the resources we already have. When you leave ReTuna, you should feel that you did something good for the environment.
Eskilstuna is 75 miles of Stockholm. It’s a small town, but the 67,000 residents seem open to the idea of idea of buying upcycled products. ReTuna positions the town as a stellar example of sustainable living. Most towns have recycling centres, but a lot of materials in them that still have potential to be reused and repurposed. ReTuna solves this problem. It’s a shining example for how to operate a circular economy.
Source: ReTuna Återbruksgalleria