A local startup, Warrp, is tackling the issue of waste in the consumer goods industry by launching an online marketplace that specialises in the sale of pre-owned items.
Warrp co-founder and CEO, Matthew Ng hopes the marketplace will encourage more Australians to shop for second-hand in an effort to lessen their impact on the environment Ng believes purchasing pre-owned is a far more eco-friendly and sustainable way to shop.
According to the 2020 Second Hand Economy Report, almost half of all Aussies are becoming more concerned about the impact ‘buying new’ has on the planet, up from 39 per cent in 2019. Single-use products dominate the consumer goods market in Australia, which is why buying second-hand is becoming part of the solution to sustainable consumerism.
Reduce, reuse, recycle
Ng, said using online marketplaces to buy pre-owned items helps to reduce demand on consumer goods manufacturing. It also limits the size of the environmental footprint that goes hand in hand with producing new products.
“The environmental impact of producing goods is enormous. For example, it requires approximately 12,075 litres of water to produce just one smartphone.
“Consumer goods traditionally have a linear lifecycle, from manufacture to disposal. Warrp creates a circular lifecycle that means items are resold and re-loved, reducing waste, pollution and the burden on natural resources.”
The Warrp marketplace is a one-stop-shop for thousands of pre-owned items that will otherwise make their way into landfill.
Electronics make up a sizable portion of resale-friendly goods. Yet Australians still produce more than 465,000 tonnes of e-waste domestically according to the latest ABS figures.
Fast fashion contributing to waste
Fast fashion is another trending topic of environmental concern. Australia generates over 800,000 tonnes of clothing and textiles waste each year. It’s a shocking figure when you consider synthetic materials like polyester take upwards of 200 years to break down.
Warrp co-founder and CTO, Roman Granovskyi, said rampant consumerism wasn’t the only issue. Packaging materials also contributed to a massive amount of waste.
“Buying second-hand goods lessens the environmental impact that packaging generates. Excess packaging would ultimately end up in landfill affecting wildlife, ecosystems and natural habitats,” said Granovskyi.
Warrp adds to the circular economy
Granovsky said Warrp is dedicated to the resale economy because they want to build a more sustainable approach to consumerism.
“We need more people to adopt the mindset that they can save money and the environment by buying pre-owned goods,” said Granovsky.