A circular economy is at the heart of the solution to our current climate emergency. The linear economy model of make, use, dispose is flawed. We live on a finite planet, with finite resources, and finite landfill. We need to make products last longer.
When looking at sustainability in eCommerce, the circular economy model focuses on both the product being sold and also any associated packaging materials. These products need to have an end of life that involves the product, or raw material, being re-used. This circular economy model encourages a reduction in the production of new materials and reduces the burden of disposing of the material at the end of life.
Recommerce is a key solution to a more circular economy for eCommerce. Reselling used products rather than throwing them away is one of the growth markets within the sustainability movement. Recommerce and circular economy examples can come in many forms, ranging from resale sites like eBay, 2nd hand marketplaces like Depop, and even the brands themselves creating sections of their websites to sell used goods returned by customers.
Another critical solution for a more sustainable eCommerce is upcycling. Taking used products and using them as the raw material for a new product can have a considerable benefit for the environment. Upcycling can also take many forms, including both products being used in their current state, or being broken down and their raw materials being reconstituted into something else.
A circular and recycling economy is the future of consumer goods. A circular economy is, in fact, the future of our economy as a whole. Sustainability is focused on people causing less impact on the planet, and the only way to do this by using less of the planets resources and re-using what we already have.