Nowhere is furniture waste more prevalent than in the contract market. In Australia, for example, offices are refurbished every six years, and 80% of furniture is sent to landfill (SMH, 2022). Enter second-hand marketplace Reseat. The Californian start-up has developed a digital platform where brands, dealers, architects and companies can register, buy and resell contract furniture.
The site allocates a unique Reseat ID to every item, allowing consumers to track its life cycle and use its existing profile to easily create an advertisement when they’re ready to resell. Using Reseat also helps companies accumulate Bifma and LEED certification credits, which recognise sustainable building projects.
“By listing their inventory in advance, [companies] have a workable timetable and planning mechanism to make [refurbishing or moving office] easier to co-ordinate and manage,” Reseat founder Brandi Susewitz told Work Design Magazine.
Another company harnessing digital tools is Danish start-up Stykka. Its modular LoopKitchen is devised so that elements can be easily upgraded or replaced to increase its lifespan. To keep track of the different components, each design has a ‘digital twin’ that automatically updates when new parts are added, and a QR code under the sink connects users to a maintenance page to make reordering simple.
With mounting pressure on companies to become circular, more buy-back, resale and repair schemes are emerging. But to be adopted at scale, these initiatives need to be easy to use. Digital identification systems can connect brands, resellers and buyers to create circular structures and reduce the number of good products lost as waste.
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