In this age of real-time interactvitiy and information availability, more than ever, consumers are acutely aware of issues such as the environment and the challenges around biodiversity loss, pollution and climate change. An increased focus on the values and philosophy around ‘reuse’ has given rise to a global movement that has resulted in business models exclusively focused on resale, refurbishment, recycling and remanufacturing. Grant Thornton Bharat’s report, Refurbished furniture and appliances: The next big revolution, throws light on how the integration of circularity in businesses is generating value for stakeholders globally and has huge potential to do so in the furniture and appliances segment in India.
According to Rahul Kapur, Partner, Growth at Grant Thornton Bharat, “The circular economy is a dynamic manufacturing and production concept that encourages the reuse and reutilisation of resources and materials at multiple levels. In any business, this will lead to the lowering of costs and wealth creation throughout the value chain. India, with the largest young population and a growing middle class, is at the right stage of transformation where the adoption of circular practices can bring about phenomenal change.”
Out of India’s total population, 24% are millennials and 27% are GenZs; entering the workforce and becoming key consumers in the market. According to a recent consumer trends survey conducted by Grant Thornton Bharat, over 60% of consumers agree to being more drawn to purchasing environment sensitive/ sustainable products, even if they come at a premium. There is an interesting amalgamation of values and principles (including personal, social and environmental) through this purchase journey which points towards a shifting mindset towards reuse.
Sustainability and resale have become more acceptable through the years, with GenZs and millennials leading this movement of using refurbished, recycled and upcycled products. Rahul further adds, “With increased awareness about carbon emissions, focus on self and environmental health, the Indian consumer will continue to escalate demand for refurbished furniture and appliances. Rapid urbanisation and growing per capita incomes have ensured that most products which were considered aspirational in the past are now mere necessities. Add to this the markdown prices of refurbished products, the value conscious Indian consumer seems to be in an advantageous place.”
The Indian consumer is fast realising that ‘value’ just does not mean a price tag; but is also about functionality, accessibility and the overall impact that their purchase will bring about. Policymakers have a unique opportunity to change trends to include circularity and facilitate this transition towards a more prosperous and transformative buying culture. The economy of the future is more inclusive, more prosperous and is definitely ‘circular’.