The consumer of the future is a circulent
We think that the word “consumer” is passé. That is why we in March 2020 launched the new word “circulent”- the consumer of the future. It is no longer enough to be sustainable consumers, we must become circulents!
A circulent is a person who has a mindset and a lifestyle where there is always a long-term and qualitative thought when there is a need for a new thing / a new purchase. A circulent considers themselves to be a user and not an owner of an item’s life cycle. The ambition is to optimize the use of the item during its lifetime.
The circulent primarily rents products when needed, buys recycled goods and repairs what is broken. The primary behavior is to borrow, exchange, rent, repair and reuse instead of always buying new. When procuring something newly produced, the circulent has a generational perspective and thinks mainly about the product’s lifetime, the possibility of reconsumption and the choice of material. The circulent considers need and function before want.
How to become a circulent
- If we make our stuff available to others, either through sales or through renting and lending, we give our fellow human beings good alternatives to buying new.
- So clean out your home and give your unwanted stuff a second chance. Start from the need! Do you need a drill, or do you need a hole drilled?
Take care of your stuff
- In order to make our products last a long time, we need to take care of them. A product that has a long life can meet the needs of many people and reduces the need to produce new.
- You do not own a gadget – you take care of it for the next user.
- Repair your things instead of throwing them away and buying new ones.
- The government in Sweden has reduced the taxes on repairs, so it is now cheaper to repair things
- If you need to buy a new item, buy one of proper quality that is produced in an environmentally friendly and ethical way.
- Make the item available to others, so that people near you can use it – instead of buying another one, as well.
Do not buy new – recycle
- Consider alternatives to buying new when you need something.
- Does a friend have what I need, is it for rent somewhere or can I buy it second hand?
- There are several companies that work with upcycling and making recycled gadgets from materials that would otherwise be thrown away
- Do you own items that cannot be repaired, sold or rented out? Recycle them!
- A recycled item is much better than an item that collects dust, as new products can then be produced from recycled material.
- This is the last step and something we should strive for only when a product can no longer be reused or repaired.
More about circulent
- Take our 8-week digital remote course “Circulents – The New Consumers“
- Read our Debate article from the official launch of the word circulent 15/3 – 2020 (in Swedish).
- The Swedish word “cirkulent” was included in the list of new words of 2020 (in Swedish).
- Order our Inspiration lecture, that looks out for trends in circular economy and how you can become a circulent (in Swedish).
- Follow the hashtag #circulent on social media to stay updated and get inspired by other circulents!