Shop­ping mall on mis­sion

EV­ERY­THING SOLD AT THE RETUNA CEN­TRE IN SWE­DEN IS RE­CY­CLED, REUSED OR MADE SUS­TAIN­ABLY

The Simple Things - - LIVING | GAZETTE - By SO­NIA ZHURAVLYOVA

Res­i­dents of the small Swedish town of Eskil­stuna don’t have to go far to get their shop­ping fix – or to help save the planet. Whether they’re look­ing for a TV, fur­ni­ture, fash­ion, sports equip­ment or house­plants, they will find them all at ReTuna, Swe­den’s first shop­ping cen­tre ded­i­cated to re­fur­bished and re­cy­cled goods.

Dreamt up by lo­cal politi­cians who want to make the mu­nic­i­pal­ity a green role model, ReTuna opened in August 2015 and has ex­panded to house 10 shops, a café and con­fer­ence cen­tre. The cen­tre re­ceives close to 700 vis­i­tors each day. Some drop off un­wanted items at a drive-thru re­cy­cling de­pot, where they are sorted and up­cy­cled, while oth­ers sim­ply come look­ing for a bargain.

“We have cus­tomers who want to be a part of the re­new­able econ­omy and then we have cus­tomers who come to buy TVs for a frac­tion of the price,” says Thomas Söder­berg, who runs the re:Com­pute-IT shop at ReTuna. “But we need to get more into the con­scious­ness of peo­ple so they can make the eco­log­i­cal choice of buy­ing used prod­ucts as much as pos­si­ble.”

Since open­ing, ReTuna’s turnover has reached over 20m Swedish kro­ner (£1.7m) and more than 50 jobs have been cre­ated.

“Our mis­sion is to save the planet,” says Anna Bergström, ReTuna man­ager. “Or at least be part of its res­cue. We know that we can’t save the world by our­selves – but our cus­tomers feel that they are a part of some­thing good.”

ReTuna’s shops also of­fer work­shops where cus­tomers can learn to re­pair house­hold items. “Peo­ple imag­ine that a sus­tain­able life­style takes ex­tra time and ef­fort and is sym­bolic of a re­duced way of liv­ing,” says Bergström. “But at ReTuna, we re­ally try to help peo­ple be sus­tain­able – and have some fun with it too.”

Be­low: the con­fer­ence lounge at ReTuna shop­ping cen­tre

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