Circular consumption:
a sustainable choice and future trend

Awareness around our impact on the climate and natural ecosystems is greater today than ever before. In the wider community, there is a growing tendency to consume with care and responsibility, and with a focus on the circular economy. What do we need to think about when it comes to more sustainable purchasing, and what exactly is circular consumption? We are joined by Alexandra Davidsson, who is an expert in sustainability and a member of Elfa Insights, to help us answer these questions.

Consumption that focuses on reuse and recycling

Circular consumption is about minimising waste and maximising the recycling and reuse of products. Unlike the traditional linear economy, in which products are made, used and then disposed of, the circular economy treats products and materials as resources that should be kept in circulation for as long as possible. Interest in sustainable consumption has grown strongly in recent years. The majority of consumers are trying to reduce their footprint by consuming in a more circular way. For many of us, this means being more mindful of the circular economy – by adopting sustainable habits such as reusing bags and glass jars, and giving away or selling items that we no longer use. Others choose to repair what they already own and look after their clothes so that they last longer.

A passing trend or essential for the future?

There is much to suggest that the outlook is promising and that circular consumption really is here to stay - especially if we are to remain within our planetary boundaries. A majority of people think that they will consume more sustainably in the future and there is considerable interest in acting and thinking in a more circular manner, for example by shopping second-hand rather than new. A lot of people seem to be most positive about buying a second-hand bike, but cars, tools, glassware and crockery are also popular second-hand purchases.

More sustainable lifestyles for a brighter future

Our storage expert Christine Dalman offers a few simple tips here on how to embrace a sustainable lifestyle that also safeguards the future!

Three simple tips on what to think about when it comes to circularity and storage in the home:

Organise your possessions and make them visible

Smart storage means being able to see and access what you already own. You are less likely to forget what you have if your possessions are organised so you can easily see them. This may help you use your items more efficiently and not make unnecessary purchases.

Create a recycling zone

Having a dedicated area for recycling and reuse of products in your home may facilitate circular consumption. Products that you are able to repair, donate or sell can be placed in separate boxes or shelves. This makes it easier for you to get started with the recycling process.

Choose sustainable products that are designed to last

Versatile shelving and other modular storage solutions that can be adapted to suit your needs make it easier to organise and store your possessions in a sustainable way. Over time, these units can be moved and switched around to suit your changing needs.

Elfa Insights 2023

Elfa Insights is Elfa’s think tank where we investigate trends, needs and challenges related to storage. We do this through consumer surveys and by gathering insights from leading experts in sustainable consumption and psychology. This gives us the opportunity to delve deep into our favourite subject, storage, and inspire others to bring order, structure and harmony to their home and thus create space for important everyday things.

Alexandra Davidsson

Alexandra Davidsson is a sustainability expert with extensive knowledge and experience in circular economy, consumption and sustainable lifestyle. She worked as general secretary for the association Medveten Konsumtion 2016-2022 and has been named one of Sweden's 33 greatest talents in sustainability according to Aktuell Hållbarhet as well as one of Sweden's 101 most powerful in sustainability. She is passionate about circular economy and creating circulars - a concept for the sustainable consumer of the future.

Anneli Östling

Anneli Östling is a relationship expert, certified psychosynthetic therapist and change leader who works with midwives in her clinic at Kungsholmen in Stockholm. She is also behind the app Otrohetsakuten and is current with the podcast Stora Relationsguiden, which is used as a midwife. I host also a new app and a book with the same title.

Christine Dalman

Elfa’s Senior PR Specialist and Storage Expert for the past 30 years. 

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