Shortly before Christmas, a customer arrived at our market shop with a clock in hand. Though unsure exactly where the hands had gone, she said it was broken and that she hoped to exchange it for something new. I’ll confess that my eyebrows shot up a few inches, but no one noticed my jaw drop behind the cloth mask.
We want you to be thrilled with your purchases and have always had an exchange policy. People generally return in a few weeks if they’re opting for a different size or colour. Nine times out of ten they bring the original packaging, which is nice. This piece had a few strikes against it and was at least six years old. I stifled the urge to burst out laughing.
With a friend in tow, she surveyed our gallery while I weighed my options. True, the hands were missing, a leaky battery had toasted the mechanism and it needed a good polish. On the plus side, stainless steel is tough, easy to clean and the original hammered finish never shows a scratch. Long story short, we credited their return. They paid the difference on a new clock and left smiling.
This story underlines a couple of our core principles, and hints at a concept we’ve been hearing a lot about lately.
And the circular economy. Last year IKEA announced a change in direction, moving their business towards one based around reuse, repair and recycling. For this massive international company to consider such a change is remarkable. You can read more about their objectives here. https://www.reutersevents.com/sustainability/how-ikea-squeezing-circularity-flat-pack , and more about their partners The Ellen MacArthur Foundation here. https://www.ellenmacarthurfoundation.org/circular-economy/what-is-the-circular-economy.
We tick some of the circular boxes. New sheet copper comes largely from recycled material, and we repurpose as many offcuts as we can. That being said, there’s more we could do and the concept bears further study. The part that sparked this post was IKEA’s commitment to buy back and resell products that are in relatively good condition. Our one clock represents a tiny nod towards that idea. Will it ever become a large or viable part of our business? Very hard to say, but the notion of keeping products out of landfills is attractive and fits our company ideals to a tee. We’ll keep you informed as the evolution continues.
Thanks for reading this, we’d love to hear your comments. And here's the clock, good as new.