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The Reimagination of Retail

What if we could reduce the amount of waste being taken to transfer stations, reduce the percentage of that waste that ends up in landfill, and reduce virgin resource use, all without changing our habits?

We know from studies that people are willing to preference environmentally conscious products, so long as they offer equal functionality to conventional products. In addition, brands in all areas, from fashion to transportation, are bringing out new retro styled or ‘vintaged’ products to meet consumer demand. Retailers like Schots Home Emporium and Deus Ex Machina are going from strength to strength offering products that look like they are from another era. Despite this, second-hand, repaired, and upcycled products make up only a small portion of Australia’s overall retail landscape. If shoppers are willing to buy sustainable products, and are seeking out retro and vintage looking products, there must be a reason that they are not flocking to the genuine article. There must be needs that are not being met, and I believe that those needs are not reflected in the products themselves, but in the way that they are sold.

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Re-imagining our world, one old product at a time, starting with your grandmother’s radio.

We produce so much waste.  In Australia alone, we produce around 50 million tonnes of waste per year.  Boe wants to turn the tide on waste by finding new purposes for old devices, and they’re starting with the humble AM radio.

Hundreds of millions of radios were produced around the world in the decades before FM and digital radio were ever conceived.  Today millions still exist as beautiful dust collectors, cluttering bookshelves, garages and secondhand shops, but when was the last time you turned one on?

To breath new life into these beautiful old objects, Boe is removing some of their antiquated and unreliable electronics, and retro-fitting a brand new bluetooth compatible amplifier, turning obsolete radios into modern bluetooth speakers.  They are merging the old cases and speakers with new power and connectivity, giving bluetooth speaker functionality with old-world charm.

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Deus Electric Motorcycle

The Deus Electric is a custom motorcycle by Melbourne-based team Ryan Mischkulnig and Joe Fischer, they began with a humble Honda C90 Cub and over a period of 5 weeks they created a minimalist electric motorcycle that would go on to win the 2015 Deus Bike Build Off in Sydney.

Electric motorcycles are nothing new of course, there are companies producing all manner of battery powered two-wheelers, from bicycles right the way through to Isle of Man TT contenders. Personally, I’m fascinated with electric vehicles. They use highly efficient motors that produce 100% of their torque from 0 RPM, usually negating the need for a gearbox, and the massive reduction in the number of moving parts means that they’re exceedingly reliable, and require almost no maintenance.

Although electric motorcycles haven’t yet enjoyed quite the surge in popularity of their four-wheeled brethren, we are seeing a huge increase in the number of electric bicycles. These allow the rider to pedal-assist if they choose to, but otherwise can offer 50+ kilometres of range running off their oftentimes removable battery packs.

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