The world’s first recycling mall is found in Eskilstuna
ReTuna Återbruksgalleria is the world's first recycling mall, revolutionizing shopping in a climate-smart way. Old items are given new life through repair and upcycling. Everything sold is recycled or reused or has been organically or sustainably produced.
The mall opened its doors in August 2015 and is located next to the Retuna Återvinningscentral recycling center at Folkestaleden 7 in Eskilstuna. It is easy for visitors to sort materials they are discarding into the containers and then drop off reusable toys, furniture, clothes, decorative items, and electronic devices in the mall’s depot, called “Returen”. In the depot, staff from AMA (Eskilstuna Municipality’s resource unit for activity, motivation and work) perform an initial culling of what is usable and what is not. The items are then distributed to the recycling shops in the mall. The shop staff then perform a second culling, where they choose what they want to repair, fix up, convert, refine – and ultimately sell. In this way, the materials are given new life.
And the business concept is working: In 2016, ReTuna Återbruksgalleria had SEK 8.1 million in sales for recycled products.
But, ReTuna is more than just a marketplace. It also aims to be a public educator. ReTuna organizes events, workshops, lectures, theme days, and more – all with a focus on sustainability. The folk high school Eskilstuna Folkhögskola conducts its one-year education program “Recycle Design – Återbruk” in the premises. There are also conference rooms, where guests can hold climate-smart meetings. Organic lunch and baked treats are on offer at Café Returama.
ReTuna Återbruksgalleria and Retuna Återvinningscentral are run by the municipality-owned company Eskilstuna Energi och Miljö (EEM).
EMM is a municipal company tasked with running competitive organizations in the energy and environmental sector. EEM shall deliver optimal benefit to customers and residents – with minimal impact on the environment. The goal is to serve as a role model and source of inspiration in relation to energy and the environment, and to create sustainable societal benefit for current and future generations. EEM works within six business areas: Electrical Grid, Electricity Market, Water & Sanitation, Recycling, Energy, and Marketing & Sales.
ReTuna Återbruksgalleria is part of business area Recycling.
Where does the idea come from?
Eskilstuna Municipality strives to be a green role model. In its environment-related development work, the idea came about to open a mall that had “regular” shops, but with a reused and upcycled range of products. The concept would attract a broad target group, and spread knowledge about sustainability and circular economy.
Local government politicians decided to turn the idea into reality, and construction of the project began in August 2014. ReTuna Återbruksgalleria opened its doors to the public on August 28, 2015.
In addition to offering sustainable shopping and serving as a public educator in relation to environmental issues, ReTuna Återbruksgalleria has generated over 50 new jobs. The mall has become international news – documentary filmmakers, journalists and curious tourists from around the world have visited ReTuna Återbruksgalleria. The concept is now spreading.
Anna Bergström, Mall Manager at ReTuna Återbruksgalleria
+46 (0)16-10 64 42