Because people in first-world societies have been conditioned to believe that they need the latest technology, new clothes every season and appliances that look like they were plucked from a catalog, plenty of perfectly good items are thrown out by consumers. Sometimes, goods like furniture and clothing are donated to second-hand stores so that others might use them; oftentimes, however, individuals who hold more affluence than they realize toss the items into the trash or haul them to landfills. Not only is this incredibly wasteful, it is detrimental to the environment and the economy because quite frequently, the items can be repaired or ‘upcycled’ so they might experience a second – or third – life.
This is the focus of the world’s first shopping mall that only sells recycled or repaired products. The establishment, ReTuna Återbruksgalleria, was named after the Swedish town in which the building is built: Eskilstuna, Sweden.
As GoodNewsNetwork shares, ReTuna Återbruksgalleria includes both a recycling center and a shopping mall. Customers are encouraged to donate items they no longer need then mosey through the mall, finding new objects they might give use to.
Employees sort donated goods into various workshops, where they are refurbished or upcycled. The goods are then sorted into 14 specialty shops. They include computers, furniture, audio equipment, clothes, toys, bikes, gardening and building materials. Every item one will find in the mall has been used, but still has plenty of life in it.
Because shopping can be exhausting, the mall also includes a café and restaurant. To keep with the theme of being as eco-friendly as possible, the menu emphasizes organic products. A conference and exhibition facility – complete with a specialty school teaching the art of recycling – can also be found in the mall.
50 new repair and retail jobs have been created by the opening of the mall, which in turn has boosted the economy. Due to the size of the facility, private start-ups and local artisans can also rent space, further increasing the mall’s income.
Anna Bergström, center manager ReTuna Recycling Galleria, explains the concept on the Retuna website:
“Our idea is that the customer comes here and leaves for example some furniture and clothing that can get tired or have no use for anymore. Then you go a lap at the mall. Maybe find a new jacket and a new framework that will make the photograph of the grandfather unique and extra fine. Since you eat organic lunch in our restaurant to gather strength to go another lap and find new flowers for the garden and a new lamp for the living room. When you leave here, you should feel that you did something good for the environment and that they shopped climate.”
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