Shopping mall on mission
EVERYTHING SOLD AT THE RETUNA CENTRE IN SWEDEN IS RECYCLED, REUSED OR MADE SUSTAINABLY
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