One reason that the circular economy has gained so much attention in recent years is down to the promising economic opportunity it presents. Studies from the Ellen MacArthur Foundation and others have outlined how adopting circular design strategies could save resources, energy and money, while new business models could open up brand new revenue opportunities.
Julie Wainwright has learnt this first hand. In 2010, she founded The RealReal, a startup specialising in the resale of luxury designer clothing. The online marketplace has sold over six million pre-owned items since launch, keeping high quality clothing in use and worn for longer.
“All we sell is used things. But we sell beautiful used things that are made well”
There’s money to be made in the transition to a circular economy, and Julie believes that The RealReal could become the first ‘circular economy business’ to be worth one billion dollars. And she doesn’t plan to stop there.
To hear the full story, check out Julie Wainwright’s talk from Summit 2018: