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RePack – reusable and returnable packaging service for e-commerce

RePack is a globally unique, circular packaging service for online retailers and shoppers.

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Our ambition is to eliminate waste created by e-commerce. RePack is a sustainable alternative to conventional plastic packaging for online retailers and shoppers because of its numerous use phase cycles. RePack packaging is designed in a way that it is easy to flatten, fold into letter size and return. RePack packaging is durable and it can be used at least 20 times. 

RePack combines innovations in reusable packaging design, return logistics and business model. RePack is only company who offers this kinds of returnable and reusable packaging solutions on B2C market. RePack is an application similar to the returnable bottle-system where consumers first pay deposit for the bottle and later collect their deposit by returning an empty bottle back to the store. 

Repack users can fold empty delivery packages into letter size and return to a letter box anywhere in the world, free of charge. Consumer is rewarded with a e-mailed vouchers that can be used at any RePack using e-commerce store. In addition to reducing waste, our business model also increases consumer loyalty and improves e-commerce buying experience.

Idea Title

Removing packaging trash from e-commerce.

Company / Organization Name

RePack

Website

www.originalrepack.com

Where are you / your team located?

RePack's team is located in Finland, Germany and the Netherlands.

How does this Idea redesign unrecyclable small format plastic items that often end up as waste?

Our business model fully embraces the circular economy concept since we manufacture our packages from recycled material, we reuse it to the maximum and upcycle the material after its life. RePack allows customers to conveniently return their used packaging by post and it will be reused for the next delivery, at least 20 times for the current product design. RePack return rate is 75% and this circular packaging service reduces packaging waste by over 90% and CO2 by 80%.

Which use cases does your Idea apply to?

RePack is packaging for e-commerce and it does not directly apply to the use cases and personas. However, RePack helps to eliminate non-recylable waste in a convenient and simple way. RePack can be used at least 20 times and it is the solution that replaces single-use plastic or cardboard delivery packaging.

In what geographical context or area does your Idea plan to operate / solve?

RePack operates now in five countries in EU. We are fodused in apparel e-commerce. Solution has potential globally but our current focus is EU and recentely US, where we've completed a feasibility study and are currently working on pilot sales.

How do you envision scaling up your Idea?

Greates obstacle is long sales cycles. Everyone likes the idea but not many companies want to be first ones to test in new markets resulting into long sales cycles. Like most sustainability products it's nice-to-have but not must-have. Yet. Once e-com market matures differentation and user experience become increasing important but that will take several years. We're very early into the market with a wildly innovative idea. Market is growing in double figures so long term future is bright.

At what stage of development is your Idea?

  • Operating Concept / Startup: You have fulfilled the stages of testing, undertaken a full scale roll-out, and are currently operating this concept/idea as a business.

Please describe how becoming a Top Idea and working with the Think Beyond Plastics Accelerator Program will help to accelerate your solution.

Increase awareness of this globally unique service. Currently when shopping online consumers have no alternatives to disposable packaging. Awards like this greatly increase the awareness of alternatives and gives credibility to global brands who want to try but "don't want to be the first ones" as we keep on hearing..

Please describe from where your Idea emerged

We were working on a project for Finland’s post office and spent many hours in logistics centres. There our co-founder and head designer Juha Mäkelä had something of a revelation when he saw all the e-commerce packages delivered in a throwaway packaging. He thought why couldn't we apply the bottle return system that's in place in Finland where over 90 % of drinking bottles are returned for reuse. There we got the idea that this model should be applied to e-commerce deliveries as well.

Tell us about your work experience

Our co-founding team has two industrial designers and a sustainability consultant. We joined forces to create proven sustainable products. Currently team has 10 members in IT, sales and Ops.

Please describe your legal and organizational structure

Company behind RePack is called "Plan B From Outer Space Ltd.". However we use RePack in all our communications.

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Spam
Photo of Jess Mak
Team

Nice work Viivi. I do however think that you are underselling the concept; it could be used off-line as well as online. It reminds me of a project by H-57 Creative Station in which the boxes are turned inside out and a sticker is added to re-send. It might be worth a look: http://www.h-57.com/re-pack/?lang=it

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