Thursday, May 11, 2017

Minneapolis retailer sets sights on revolutionizing retail through reuse

The next evolution for an environmentally-oriented Minneapolis vintage shop is playing out this spring as Junket: Tossed & Found prepares to reduce its square footage by 25% to welcome a new non-profit restaurant into the building. The shop’s owner, Julie Kearns, cited the change as a strategic decision to bring food to a community that’s been clamoring for more walkable options.

Kearns and Junket are also now leveraging the upcoming change in floor plans to involve their community in establishing a carbon-informed retail assortment. The goal: to combine the ease of traditional retail with the environmental virtue of a thrift store.

In order to help her customers better understand the specific environmental benefits of reuse – and to better understand them, herself – Kearns contracted with Minneapolis based Ecotone Analytics, GBC in 2015 to begin tracking carbon dioxide emissions avoided by consumers who purchased the shop’s products instead of making similar new purchases.

To the best of Kearns’ knowledge, Junket is the only retailer in the country undertaking such product-specific analysis, approaching the project with consumer cognition in mind while documenting weights and materiality of items as small and discrete as paper clips.

Two years later, she’s reached a data-driven conclusion: there’s no environmentally virtuous alternative to reuse, period.

Kearns has enlisted Minneapolis-based B-Corp Software For Good to begin prototyping a technical tool to enable a social supply chain for reused goods. She has also launched a Kickstarter campaign to finalize the business model before directing her full attention upstream.

“Junket is committed to serving as a community resource and force for good,” said Kearns. “We’re working to provide high quality ease of access to the most sustainable goods possible: those that already exist.”

KICKSTARTER ends June 3: help us revolutionize retail through reuse!

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