Recent data suggests 92% of consumers express a desire to live a sustainable life, but only 16% are actively changing their behaviour to achieve this goal. Global payments network, Visa aims to bridge this “intention/action gap” and encourage more circular behaviours and business models through collaboration with its partners.

The Recommerce Behavioural Insights Lab will conduct rapid real-world experiments to understand how businesses can effectively engage consumers in the circular economy.

Thami Schewichler, CEO of the United Repair Centre, highlighted the significance of repair in creating sustainable alternatives for consumers. She stated: “Repair is a great way to show consumers the value of clothing again, and as it becomes the new cool in fashion, it also gives them the chance to create real impact.”

The first two experiments, in partnership with H&M brand, COS and the United Repair Centre, will be conducted in various European countries, including France, the Netherlands, Germany, and the UK.

  • COS will explore the motivations and experiences that increase consumer participation in the resale market. By identifying motivations and barriers affecting customer interest, COS aims to drive greater participation in the resale market.
  • The United Repair Centre, known for its high-quality repair services, will investigate the barriers that prevent consumers from repairing their garments. The experiment aims to make clothing repair services more accessible and beneficial for all consumers.

The experiments will take place both online and in-store, providing a comprehensive understanding of the triggers for changing consumer behaviours. Factors such as visibility, access, community, rewards, ease, and affordability will be tested to identify the most effective strategies.

Key findings from the experiments will be shared through downloadable playbooks, enabling other businesses to leverage this knowledge and develop their own circular models. The open-source approach aims to foster collaboration and create a broader Recommerce community.

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“Over half of Europeans are already regularly engaging in recommerce activities like resale,” said Katherine Brown, vice president of sustainability and inclusive impact at Visa Europe. “By uncovering what actually gets shoppers to change their behaviour and by leveraging our data and insights from these experiments with United Repair Centre and COS, we can identify new ways to make sustainable fashion a must-have purchase and accelerate the transition to the circular economy for all.”

To ensure the success of the Behavioural Insights Lab, Visa has partnered with Mindworks, a leading behavioural design expert, and Twig, an innovative fintech company specialising in the circular economy.

Brad Herholdt, CEO of MindWorks Consulting, expressed excitement about shaping a better future through innovative behavioural interventions. He commended Visa’s open-source approach, which encourages collaboration and knowledge sharing among the entire community.

The Ellen MacArthur Foundation, a strategic partner, will contribute its circular design principles to shape the project’s direction. Strategic design manager at the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, Anna Queralt, emphasised the importance of design in enabling circular economy choices and added:

“The learnings from this iterative project will sit alongside our Adaptive Strategy for Circular Design to help organisations leverage design as they transition from linear to circular and will support not only the fashion industry but all actors across different sectors who want to bring their users and customers along on their circular economy journey.”

Visa’s Recommerce Behavioural Insights Lab aligns with the company’s recent commitment to promoting regenerative practices and transitioning to a circular economy. By incorporating re-commercial activities and business models like resale, repair, rental, redistribution, return, and refill, Visa aims to create a more sustainable future.

H&M aims to enter the Brazilian market in 2025 and expand its presence in Latin America by establishing physical stores and an online platform throughout the country.