To start talking about Circular Economy, we need to first understand the concept of waste management, a term that has been closely legislated by most countries.
Waste management relates to the efficient waste collection achieved by materials separate collection. Individual waste collection is the foundation of a more sustainable society as it leads to the development of recycled resources and more and higher quality recycled materials.
As opposed to the traditional and linear economic model and based on this waste problem, a new model of production and consumption needed to be implemented to attack the root of this waste problem and this is where the circular economy plan takes action.
What is Circular Economy?
Circular Economy (CE) is a sustainable alternative that goes around sharing, leasing, reusing, repairing, refurbishing, and recycling existing materials whenever possible with the end goal of extending the life cycle of a product, reducing waste, and empowering consumers. Hence, this model is widely applied to the textile, electronics, plastics, and even the construction sector.
Now, for this article, we will focus on the textile and fashion sector, and we will use second-hand online platforms, like Wallapop (Spain), Vinted (Lithuania), ThredUP (US) to exemplify this sustainable model.
How Much Does the Garment Industry Waste?
It is claimed that the global textile is one the most polluted ones, its production has doubled in the last 20 years, reaching a record high of 111 million tonnes in 2019. Furthermore, according to the 2020 Priority Textile and Materials Market Report, by 2030, textile production has the potential to grow to 466 million tons.
Circular Economy Sustainability
The transition to a more cyclical economy can bring many benefits, among them the following: reduce pollution, improve the safety of raw material supplies, improve competitiveness, stimulate innovation, promote economic growth (adding 0.5% of GDP), and create jobs.
Narrowing it down to the fashion industry, emitting over 1.7 million tons of CO2 each year, the benefits are almost countless, not just in terms of social and environmental impact, but personal costs.
A good sustainable and circular economy practice we can all be part of is engaging in the second-hand buy/sell model. Each person that buys second-hand clothes can prevent more than 500 pounds of carbon emissions every year, as well as reduce one’s water, waste, and carbon footprint by more than 80%.
In terms of costs, shifting people’s mindset to start taking part in this circular economy by selling their used and unwanted clothes and purchasing good quality second-hand garments allows them to save money, research indicates that the average British person saves around 1042 pounds ( 1.253 euros) on clothes and shoes every year.
Online Marketplaces: New players in the Circular Economy.
The exchange of second-hand clothes can be globally scaled thanks to online thrift stores, a widely known e-commerce concept for “pre-loved” clothes. These platforms rely on shipping and courier companies to deliver items to e-shoppers addresses. But all this process can be upgraded with the right software and use of technology, below we will explain to you how.
What’s Next for the Circular Economy Regarding Delivery?
Tackling the empty mileage or unnecessary emissions, (remember CE is all about zero waste), is the end goal of circular economy when it comes to the delivery arena.
E-commerce fashion companies can enhance their interoperability to share assets in new ways and eliminate costly redundancies from delivery and parcel organizations by incorporating smart delivery technology: smart lockers, namely parcel lockers, or pickup and drop-off networks. Not to mention the advantages that this delivery method can bring in terms of customers’ data insights collection, speed, reduction of cart abandonment and sustainability making it a win-win for the business and its customers.
The implementation of smart lockers software and technology is not just a sustainable practice with the potential of optimizing online marketplaces like Vestiaire Collective, Rebag, or Vinted logistics but it also helps to have a competitive advantage for the eco-concerned customers.
How can Bloq.it help you and your business?
At Bloq.it we are at the forefront of locker systems integration and development for various industries including online retail. Our solutions are already being used by many companies, like Vinted, that have already proven their worth across several countries.
Want to discuss more how we can help you and your business? Reach out to one of our specialists