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Recommerce lab to study how retailers can help consumers make sustainable choices

United Repair Centre

Visa, COS and the United Repair Centre plan to run real-world experiments to understand and share how businesses can help consumers actively engage in the transition to a more circular economy, as part of a new initiative – Recommerce Behavioural Insights Lab.

With 92% of consumers surveyed claiming they want to live a more sustainable life, but only 16% taking active steps to change their behaviour, Visa will partner with brands to better understand how to bridge this “intention/action gap”. It aims to drive more circular behaviours and business models, while ensuring an inclusive approach.

The first two experiments will be run in partnership with COS and the United Repair Centre, and will take place in various places across Europe. Initial countries where early experiments are likely to take place include France, the Netherlands and Germany, as well as the UK.

COS will explore the motivations and compelling experiences that increase consumer participation in the resale market. Resale is an important part of fashion’s shift to circularity and is a growing commercial activity. However, with only 47% of consumers participating in resale activities more than once a year, many brands are still learning the motivations and barriers that impact customer interest.

The experiment with the United Repair Centre will leverage their experience offering high-quality repair services to leading European apparel brands. It will explore the barriers that stop consumers from repairing their garments, and how to make clothing repair services more accessible and beneficial for all.

The experiments will test the different experiences and motivations with customers in a variety of environments, including online and instore, to provide a better understanding of the precise triggers of changing consumer behaviours, experimenting with factors such as improving visibility, access, community, reward, ease, or affordability.

The experiments will be open sourced, with key findings available through downloadable playbooks so that other businesses can use this knowledge to help develop their own circular models and be part of the wider recommerce community.

Thami Schewichler, CEO, United Repair Centre, said: “Every brand is looking at how they can be sustainable, and consumers are also looking for sustainable alternatives. Repair is a great way to show consumers the value of clothing again, and as it becomes the new cool in fashion, it also gives them the chance to create real impact.”

The Behavioural Insights Lab has partnered with industry-leading firms – Mindworks, a behavioural design expert; Twig, a circular economy fintech; and the Ellen MacArthur Foundation will be joining the lab as foundational partner. Insights from the foundation, including circular design principles, will be incorporated, it is also supporting the project by helping to shape its direction.

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