Kids count in the circular economy
Empowering kids to learn about, care for and participate in the circular economy is key for the transition to a circular economy. Not just because they are the future but also because they are influential within family dynamics in the present.
With sCooLMakers we want to make it fun and easy for kids to trade their used stuff with each other. Giving (plastic) products a longer life and instilling a mindset and skill set that foster a circular economy. Kids will learn to share, to pass on a product they don't use anymore, to value quality and opt for second hand instead of new. We believe kids are willing to learn, because kids are idealist by nature. Given the opportunity to learn about conserving our planet and it's scares resources, they will rise to the occasion.
With a growing community they become a voice in the present and the future and will be able to create demand for more sustainable products. Their opinion and behaviour counts!
Plastic toys: fun for a bit and then it gets old
Kids use a lot of stuff for a short time. They can't help it: they grow and develop out of their stuff. From all the stuff they use, toys are perhaps, with the exception of a few favourites, the objects that are notoriously short-lived. How many toys succeed in capturing the imagination for longer than perhaps a few days? Unfortunately this has fuelled a $90 billion global toy industry with plastics accounting for 90% of this market. This is a huge problem as featured recently in this Huffington Post Article.
We start locally in The Netherlands, where entrepreneurship has deep roots and kids are already motivated to start early. A perfect example being the "free-market" on King's Day, illustrated by the following user case:
Bas (10yo) cleans out his closet. This time he didn't need much convincing by his father to do so, because tomorrow it's King's Day in The Netherlands. The "free-market" is part of the nationwide celebrations of the King's birthday and kids and adults take this opportunity to sell their used stuff and see what bargains are available! Last year he managed to earn €30,-. Half of it he could use to go browsing through the other kids' stuff and half of it went into his piggy bank. "I wish it was King's Day everyday!". His parents would love that too, seeing him tidy his room so eagerly. With sCoolMakers Bas and his parents can experience the excitement of King's Day throughout the year!
Less waste and more happy faces
Kids (and adults too!) learn by doing, by playing! We make it fun to trade both online as well as offline. We have a working prototype (warenhuisje.nl) where kids can create and upload products to their Space and (only!) trade with friends. On the exchange page is where the product-matchmaking happens. Once all parties agree on the match you've got a deal! Less waste and more happy faces.
But it doesn't stop with just the trade! We want to connect kids with circular entrepreneurs as well. Kids can aid in the entrepreneur's circular mission and help source materials to re-use and re-cycle. We want to provide kids with the information and tools needed to develop into conscious, innovative and collaborative participants in a circular economy through the enhancement of social, creative and entrepreneurial skills.
"The SDGs can only be realised if children and young people are fully equipped to meet the challenges of the future" - David Nabarro, UN Special Adviser on 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development
With the goals and targets set by governments and corporates as illustrated by the SDG's we will need to involve the age demographic that will be responsible for a large part of tomorrow's consumption and production, today!
Start to play, create, share and make change happen for a brighter NOW!
All about collaboration
From the very start collaboration is key. We work together with families and schools to test sCoolMakers (Warehousejr.com) and also help teachers teach about circular economy (7DagenCirculair.nl), we work together with entrepreneurs who can show kids more about the practice of the circular economy (HashtagCircular.com) and we continue to look for partnerships with (local) institutions and companies that can help us in "Empowering Kids to Be Circular Stars" with the Stars Are Circular Foundation.
We are open and transparent in our development and ask kids and families for feedback from the start! We are not afraid to fail, be vulnerable and learn, because we firmly believe we achieve our purpose only if we take on an open approach and have continuous conversations with our stakeholders.
Come on board and collaborate with us! Leave your comments and suggestions below and help us create the best trading platform for kids to exchange their stuff.
Agustina and Rieta