The Growth of Rental and Circular Sustainability

The Growth of Rental and Circular Sustainability

Across the retail landscape, we appear to be seeing more consideration for circular sustainability, with a number of brands from a range of different sub-sectors introducing rental services or pre-loved collections.


We’ve seen lots of announcements in the fashion sector particularly, with luxury brands such as Mulberry and Fenwick launching initiatives, and more recently, high street and online fast fashion brands entering the space, such as Primark and PrettyLittleThing. It’s positive to see so many brands and retailers coming on board with the mammoth task of reducing wastage in the fashion industry – especially given that, according to a global estimate by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, a truckload of textiles is being incinerated or buried every second.


Outside of the fashion realm, Decathlon has launched a second life collection of sporting goods equipment that has been repaired and is ready to be resold, musicMagpie has extended its rental service to cover new categories including tablets, games consoles, and MacBooks, and John Lewis has expanded its furniture rental service.


While it’s great to see more brands taking a more circular approach to sustainability, we’re still finding that retail marketing is one area that is often overlooked. Research we recently conducted with over 200 retail brands and marketing agencies found that, although sustainability is important to 86% of respondents, just 57% have a KPI for their retail marketing.


Sustainability must extend beyond the products themselves, and by taking a more circular approach to retail marketing, brands and retailers can make a big difference. At 100%, we’ve developed our 6R framework to help clients consider each stage of the lifecycle and encourage them to take steps as an organisation to minimise the impact they have on the environment.


The six stages are:


Rethink – When it comes to your POP design, production, and execution, sustainability needs to enter the equation as early as possible in the process. Consider what the display’s purpose will be after it has left the store. Can any of its components be reused, or are its materials recyclable? Introducing sustainable concepts as early as possible in the development stages optimises the outcome at its end of life.


Reduce – How can you minimise the impact your retail marketing campaigns have on the planet? Think more widely and consider how you can reduce packaging and the energy required and emissions produced throughout the project, including how you can reduce your carbon footprint through efficient route planning and optimised distribution.


Refresh – Outdated or tired displays don’t necessarily need to be ripped out and replaced. By simply updating fixtures and refurbishing components, displays can be given a new lease of life to prolong their use in store. Not only does this maximise their ROI, but it also reduces the amount of new materials required, as well as the associated energy and emissions.


Repair – Similarly, any faulty components or damaged elements on your displays can simply be repaired, rather than replacing the whole unit. Consider proactive maintenance contracts for your displays to prolong their lifespans – at 100% our skilled maintenance teams can often troubleshoot and fix displays in-store.


Reuse – If displays cannot be refreshed or repaired and removal is the only option, consider whether there could be another use for your display, its components and demo products. Could they be deployed into secondary retailers, or regifted to benefit charities, NPOs, or schools? Through one project with a client, we were able to turn some redundant product display tables into school desks for children in India. Your redundant installations could benefit an individual or an organisation in a way you never imagined!


Recycle – This should be used as a final resort once all other steps have been followed. If the parts of your old installation cannot be reused, try and recycle them as far as possible. This will be easier if sustainability was taken into account from the very beginning! At 100%, we work with a network of specialists to maximise the volume of materials we’re able to recycle and are working towards zero waste to landfill.

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