When we talk about circular economy, we are talking about much more than an economic model aimed at reducing waste and conserving input: we are talking about our culture, our ethos and our mission in this world, or becoming the society that we want to be.

Circular economy is about sharing and pooling resources, collaborating on a massive scale so that the output that is trash to some, can be leveraged by those that treasure it, need it or want it.

Circular economy is about creating a model of knowledge sharing and awareness, so that professional and individuals, consumers and lay-people can all make educated decisions about the manner in which they contribute to the eco-system.

A circular economy is not just an opportunity for a more efficient society, or a more sustainable society, or a more lucrative economy, it is an opportunity to be a better, more caring society.

Within the retail industry, the circular economy paradigm offers a unique opportunity to work towards greater efficiency and greater sustainability of the online returns space. A circular model for online product returns will effectively increase the bottom line for e-commerce players and simultaneously reduce wastage and the carbon footprint. Moreover, it would offer revenue-related opportunities for local retail and sustainability partners. If we embrace new circular models that support collaboration on a massive scale of many partners in the eco-system, we can reframe and improve the returns experience for professionals and consumers alike. By bringing together the players who can redefine the usage and life span of retail products we can increase circulation, sustain the value of created products and enable a longer life span for these products that are increasingly discarded without a second thought.

The value chain in the retail industry is rife for change for all the right reasons: they want to improve the bottom line as well as to reduce the losses derived from reverse logistics. They are concerned with sustainability and finding real and significant ways to contribute to the growing public and consumer charge to embrace accountability. Finally, the timing is right to embrace this paradigm: with the tangible concern for the planet, the real challenges of the existing supply chain, and the explosion of e-commerce on account of the pandemic, there has never been a better time than now. The question should not be why should we embrace the circular economy now? But, how can we do it starting from this very minute?!

Photo by Jim Desautels on Unsplash