Using Design Thinking to Reimagine the Way We See Secondhand
- The Reimaginarium
The Reimaginarium launched in 2018 with the aim of changing perceptions of second-hand. By utilising design thinking to identify the key factors that drew customers towards or away from purchasing secondhand and reclaimed goods we were able to develop a retail model unique within Australia. Utilising that knowledge we launched a retail store in Geelong that features only goods made in Australia from primarily reclaimed materials. In less than 12 months we have more than doubled in size and now support over a dozen creatives from across the country.
For people who already prefer to shop sustainably, the biggest hurdles to doing so are accessibility, cost, transport, and faith in the longevity of the goods. If these issues aren’t dealt with, they will often default to buying new goods despite their preferences.
For people who are not bothered by shopping sustainably, sustainable options are often invisible to them.
The Reimaginarium is unique in Australia, in that it offers a conventional, uncluttered retail experience with strong product knowledge and guaranteed quality of goods in a central accessible location. In doing so it makes reimagined goods accessible to all.
The Reimaginarium’s impact is twofold. It gives creatives working with reclaimed materials a dedicated outlet for their work and assists them where necessary to apply design thinking within their business. Currently it supports over a dozen Australian creatives.
Through its central location and passionate staff it also makes reclaimed goods accessible to consumers like never before. Customers can purchase a reclaimed good that whey know and trust will last. Further still, customers with items that they can no longer use in their current form are able to have their goods repaired or repurposed into something they can use.
Before The Reimaginarium launched, if creatives working with reclaimed materials were looking for an outlet for their work, it would usually fall into galleries or vintage markets, neither of which truly showcased the features of their work.
People looking for reclaimed goods would have to shop online, trawl opshops or vintage markets for goods sold in as-is condition, make their own judgements on the reliability of an item and arrange their own transport for larger goods.
These issues were identified in the inception of The Reimaginarium, and design thinking applied to offer solutions to them through the business model.
The Reimaginarium is the only space in Australia that you can come to find quality, affordable, functional reclaimed goods. By offering only goods that fit this description in an accessible location under a carefully curated label we create a unique market segment that makes sustainable living more accessible to all.
Globally, the closest business model to ours is ReTuna in Sweden, an entire shopping mall for reclaimed materials, an incredible enterprise which is let down only by its location, outside of a major retail precinct, located alongside the waste disposal facility which feeds it.