Day10 of Xmas — Circular Economy

In this post we explore how the circular economy is being facilitated by digital innovation. We see new consumer behaviours and new business models appearing as we move away from a linear to a circular system.


C2C Marketplace is the only marketplace with cradle-to-cradle certified products. The C2C certification continues to push the standards and improvement in the 5 pillars of material health, material reutilisation, renewable energy and carbon management, water stewardship and social fairness.

BuyMeOnce is an e-commerce site that is curating items that are built to last. They have a directory that covers everything from kitchenware, fashion items to tools and toys.

Reuse Platforms and Services

Here we explore how secondary marketplaces that are being created in niche market segments with each providing a slightly different offering, all extending the usage of materials and things.

Freegle and Freecycle are two of the most established online platform geared towards helping people give away things in the UK.

Streetbank is an online platform to help people to share and give away things as well as share skills, in the process helping build local communities.

There are many examples of generic secondary marketplaces that are local to different geographies for example Subito in Italy, Vibbo in Spain and Finn in Norway.

Paperclip is a trading app to help you buy, sell, swap or freecycle items locally.

RemadeInBritain is an online marketplace for upcycled items made in the UK. They have a community of upcyclers, makers and craftsmen with information on vintage, retro and shabby-chic furniture.

Recipro and Loop Hub are online marketplaces for surplus construction buildings material.

Globechain works with charities and businesses on a very wide range of items from retailers, commercial and office items.

Warpit focuses on office furniture and equipment in universities, local councils and health centres.

Swapping books is not a new trend but it is definitely been enabled by digital technology. There are reasons why someone would swap books, mainly because people want to be part of a community of book readers and connect over books. Book swapping platforms include BookCrossing and BookMooch which are more established communities and Superfred from Italy and Booxup from Paris which are newer platforms. Booxup is the only mobile app in this space and they also includes a section of textbooks for university students.

UniGreenScheme is providing reselling service for scientific research centres and universities to recoup value from their specialist scientific equipment.

FORK (Federation Of Rescued Kitchenware) provides a starter kit of second hand kitchenware for university students moving into a new homes in London.

Rental Services

Borroclub is an online platform that provides safe and easy way to hire things from neighbours where it is free to list and they will do the pick up and drop off service.

Library of Things is a community space for people to borrow items from their catalogue of tools, and in addition members can learn how to use the tools and equipment in 1-to-1 sessions or workshops.

We Love Bricks provides rental services for LEGO sets where members pay a subscription to join the rental club and get access to a wide variety of LEGO sets.


Recycling web apps tend to be used for education and awareness but also mainly to guide people to recycle in the correct places such as RecycleNow recycling facility locator.

Junker is an app that guides people to recycle food packaging in the correct recycling bin. Upon scanning the barcode, users will be notified where to separate the different materials and which recycling bin it goes to. They are Italian based company have now launched their app in the UK to crowdsource their database as they work with local councils to help them meet their recycling targets.

Product Service Systems

There are fairly established product service systems such as carpet services offered by Interface and Desso and lighting services such as Phillips Lightings pay-per-lux model.

Cup Club is providing cups-as-a-service by creating a service to help people reuseable smart cups that can be returned to be washed, tackling the problem of disposable cups.

There is also Forever Green Christmas Tree which is a Christmas tree rental service which delivers and collects potted Christmas trees to homes in South Essex, i.e. Christmas tree-as-a-service.

So, what do you think of the digital innovation happening in circular economy?

If you have missed the previous post in this series, head back to read here:

Day 1 of XMas — Food Waste Apps

Day 2 of XMas — Air Quality Apps

Day 3 of XMas — Transport Services

Day 4 of XMas — Electric Vehicles

Day 5 of XMas — Crowd Delivery

Day 6 of XMas — Local Food Systems

Day 7 of XMas — Reforestation, Tree Planting and Crowdfarming

Day 8 of XMas — Crowdfunding & Fintech for Good

Day 9 of XMas — Sustainable Fashion

For more about IYWTo head over to here or get in touch with Woon at

This series is written in collaboration with the 6heads community. 6heads is dedicated to shared learning at the join of sustainability and innovation.