Sweden has a reputation for one of the best recycling rates worldwide, so it should not be surprising the country is home to the world’s first mall that only sells recycled and repaired goods. The new recycling establishment, ReTunaAterbruksgalleria, has nothing to do with the fish; instead, it is named after the Swedish town in which the building is located, Eskilstuna (situated about 120 kilometres west of Stockholm).
The facilities contain both a recycling centre and a shopping mall. Customers can donate the items that they no longer need, then shop for something new – all in one stop.
Dropped off goods are sorted into various workshops where they are refurbished or repaired accordingly. Products are then sorted into 14 specialty shops that include furniture, computers, audio equipment, clothes, toys, bikes, gardening and building materials; all garnered from second-hand products.
We all know shopping can be exhausting and here is why the mall also includes a café and a restaurant. To keep up with the theme of being as eco-friendly as possible, the menu emphasizes on organic products. A conference and exhibition facility (with a specialty school, teaching the art of recycling) can also be found in the mall.
The centre, which is operated by the local municipality, has benefitted the local economy by creating 50 new repair and retail jobs, and providing space for private start-ups and local artisans.
Eskilstuna’s 67,000 residents seem more and more open to the idea of buying repurposed and refurbished goods, which is inspiring ReTuna to set an even bigger goal: to position this town as a global destination that will showcase what sustainable living and the circular economy are all about.