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A partnership in furniture brings the circular economy to consumers

White chair

Tie-up comes just a week after Ikea announced it will be buying back used furniture and selling it on Gumtree.

BusinessGreen

Made.com has become the latest retailer to boost its commitment to the circular economy, announcing this week it has partnered with online marketplace Geev on an initiative that would make it easier for customers to giveaway their preloved furniture and homewares.

The online lifestyle brand said the collaboration would help shoppers reduce their waste and environmental impact by finding new homes for old furniture and homeware, while also connecting people with their neighbors.

The tie-up will give customers purchasing goods on Made's website the option to post an ad on Geev for any item of unwanted furniture or homeware. The online retailer will then donate 10 percent of the value of purchases made by the customer opting in to the giveaway service to one of five national charities.

Made CEO Phillippe Chainieux touted the partnership as a "significant first step" in the brand's effort to tackle the end of life of products. "This is a key issue for our sector and we know how important it is to our customers," he said. "We believe our giveaway initiative with Geev provides a simple and easy-to-use tool to help customers further the life of their preloved items and support their local communities, while lessening their impact on the planet."

The initiative is the latest in a string of announcements made by major fashion and lifestyle retailers geared at encouraging shoppers to resell used goods. For example, a new buyback scheme launched by Ikea last week will see used furniture stocked at stores across the United Kingdom and on online marketplace Gumtree, while handbag company Mulberry, apparel giant Nike and luxury retailer Selfridges also have launched buyback schemes over the last year.

The initiative is the latest in a string of announcements made by major fashion and lifestyle retailers geared at encouraging shoppers to resell used goods.

Chainieux said that Made's vertically integrated business model put it at an advantage when it came to delivering on sustainability objectives. "From the very beginning, Made has pioneered a new way of working and producing in our sector, focusing on design-led, small batch production that ensures we only produce what we know we'll sell," he said. "Our vertically integrated model gives us control over our supply chain, enabling us to embed sustainable practices quickly and efficiently at every stage; from the materials we source right through to how we support our customer to shop responsibly."

Made said the new scheme would allow it to meet one of its four headline sustainability commitments, to find new ways to extend the life of products. As part of this promise, it also has pledged to invest more in its returns operations in order repurpose, refurbish and recycle preloved pieces by 2025.

Hakim Baka, co-founder of Geev, said the marketplace, which launches in the U.K. for the first time this month, hoped to work with other companies looking to embrace more sustainable business models. 

"This partnership marks a key step in our evolution to make donations the go-to zero-waste solution on a large scale, offering a local and efficient option for consumers who wish to give a second life to objects they don't need anymore," he said. "In the longer term, our objective is to continue to make Geev available to other e-commerce players as a take-back solution, supporting them on their sustainability journey".

The resale market is expected to boom over the coming decade as consumers embrace second-hand purchasing to reduce their environmental impact, with analysts from Global Data forecasting the clothing resale market will grow from $7 billion in 2019 to $36 billion in 2024.

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