Last week in Purposeful Retail we explored the theme of circularity — a hot topic in today’s retail industry and something that consumers are placing increasing value on. Closing the loop in the life cycle of a product is also an important factor in our Purposeful Retail conversation.

Here’s what we discovered:

In a conversation with Håkan Nordkvist, the Head of Sustainability Innovation at IKEA, we learned that IKEA has had one consistent vision since the company took off in the 60s, and that is to create a better everyday life for the many people while focussing on life at home. By regularly setting sustainability goals, IKEA has begun to look at a new circular business model to achieve them.

Dianna Cohen (Plastic Pollution Coalition) and Niall Dunne (Polymateria) — two experts in the world of plastic pollution and innovations in new materials — joined us in our first Purposeful Retail Expert Session webinar to discuss circularity and the “wild wild west” of the plastics world.

Our DO School fellow Kaya Dorey, has proven exactly how that loop can be closed in terms of the fashion industry. Kaya introduced three fashion entrepreneurs and together, they gave us wonderful insight into the impact smaller businesses can have on the environment.

Top 3 articles on the topic:

Our webinar got us thinking about alternatives to plastic and other innovative materials such as mushrooms, and their potential.

Lush has opened three new packaging-free “Naked” stores in Europe and uses an augmented reality app that allows shoppers to find out more about a product without the use of flashy packaging.

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HISBE stands for “how it should be” and have adopted a circular business model. The supermarket has 8 “rebel values” to disrupt the industry: go local, choose seasonal, protect nature, support ethical, think welfare, save fish, end waste and avoid processed. The store is a community interest company (CIC) — a limited company, where profits are used for community benefit rather than private advantage.

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