In 2014, we signed the Greenpeace Closed Loop Commitment.
By signing this agreement, we have pledged to develop products that conserve resources.
We consume 1.6 Planet Earths worldwide every year. In other words, we use 1.6 times more resources each year than we can replenish. At the same time, a growing throwaway mentality is increasing the amount of waste we produce globally. We are responding to these challenges by conserving and reusing valuable resources.
We use sustainable and recycled raw materials in our products and packaging, and right at the beginning when we’re developing our products we test their durability and assess their suitability for recycling, thus reducing their environmental footprint.
Turning old into new
Plastic waste can pollute the natural world. However, it can also be used as a valuable resource to make new products, just as we have done. Plastic bottles can be used to make children’s clothes, for example: A children’s raincoat sold in 2020 used 49 recycled plastic bottles (source: Textile Exchange). In 2020, we didn’t just use recycled materials to make textile products. We also made hard goods such as washing-up brushes. In addition to plastic bottles, we also use fishing nets and textile waste to produce recycled fibres. This conserves raw materials and protects the environment.
A lasting friendship
There are plenty of good reasons to be always buying something new, but there are far better reasons to use a product for as long as possible: it conserves resources, reduces the pressure on our ecosystems and in doing so protects the very foundations on which our existence depends. That’s why the quality and durability of our products have been a top priority for us for more than 70 years.
To help our customers enjoy our products for a long time or even give them a new lease of life, we offer tips on how to look after products properly on our website www.tchibo.de/nachhaltigkeit – such as how to get rid of rust on kitchen knives using a cork, for example. It also features upcycling ideas and recycling information.
Parting ways, the right way
If a product can no longer be used, it is important to us that it is recycled properly. On our website, we encourage customers to return their old clothes and textiles in a simple and professional way using the consumer-friendly take-back system run by our partner FairWertung e. V..
In 2018, we launched Tchibo Share as a prototype and ‘testing ground’ for sustainable consumption in collaboration with the company kilenda. We were the first mainstream provider to rent out children’s and women’s clothing – trousers, jackets, waterproofs, bed linen and accessories – online.
We refined the service in 2019, launching new product ranges (toys, baby carriers, children’s furniture, camping equipment and coffee accessories) and trialling partnerships with other sustainable brands and producers.
In 2020, we also began offering selected products for sale in our second-hand store in addition to our rental service. These were mainly products showing minor signs of wear, which no longer met our strict quality requirements for rental but which were still in perfectly good condition and could be used or worn again.
Overall, the rental service was viewed very positively both by the media and by our customers and was seen as innovative. However, the number of actual users remained rather limited. Problems identified were the narrow product range, the unfamiliar way the service worked and a lack of awareness of the service.
The end of Tchibo Share – and a new beginning
Despite a very positive response from the public and refinements to the product range and service, it was not possible to attract sufficient numbers of customers to the service before the COVID-19 pandemic hit. Due to the further decline in orders during the pandemic and our partner company kilenda going out of business, we decided to discontinue the rental service towards the end of 2020. We are currently in the process of developing a new concept aimed at making sustainable consumption more mainstream. In parallel with this, we are also integrating closed material cycles into our product and packaging design.