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Mercari Experiments

Mercari Experiments

Mercari Experiments is an experimental framework for designing and developing a pathway for a circular economy model.

Mercari’s mission is to create value in a global marketplace where anyone can buy & sell. By doing so, Mercari aims to create a circular economy in which items that are still of use can be passed on to the hands of those who need them, in the amount needed.

As part of this project, we conduct a variety of experiments related to the circular use of materials with the purpose of creating opportunities to learn and reflect on ways to realize a more sustainable life in which the earth’s limited resources are used effectively.

Circular Economy

The Role of Mercari in a Circular Economy

  • Unlike the conventional linear take-make-waste consumption model, a circular economy aims to redefine the value chain, minimizing waste, circulating products and materials, and maximizing the use of our limited resources. The Mercari Group aims to realize a circular economy in which the earth’s finite resources are used efficiently. We believe that it is necessary to shift from an economic model based on mass production and mass consumption to a model that has a circular use of products and materials as a premise for production and consumption.

    The Mercari Group has played a role in the circular economy by driving the expansion of the secondary distribution market through its marketplace platform service.
    In addition to the expansion of the secondary distribution market, Mercari intends to further accelerate the circular economy by working to optimize product planning, production, and sales in the primary market.

    On the other hand, the rapid expansion of the e-commerce market and services, including Mercari, has created a number of environmental challenges, such as an increase in the consumption of packaging materials and CO2 emissions in the delivery process.
    Acknowledging this background, in Mercari Experiments we engage in a variety of experimental methods to approach issues and theories related to the circular economy making use of Mercari’s unique problem-solving abilities.
Approach

Our approach to value chains and what we aim to achieve through Mercari Experiments

    • Optimizing the value chain from production to sales in primary distribution, optimizing demand estimation and production planning, and promoting product design and planning based on the principle of circulation

    • To what scale can Mercari estimate demand and production for the primary distribution market by utilizing data from the secondary distribution market?

    • Can products that are designed to circulate revitalize the entire economy including the primary distribution market?

    • What would be the value and business model required to enable manufacturers to continue sustainable production in a circular economy?

    • What would be a long-life design used and circulated across generations?

    • What would be after-sales services (warranty and repair services) for primary market distribution look like based on a circular economy model?

    • Fostering a new culture of consumption designing waste out of the system, and switching to a model that includes positive attitudes toward reusing, repairing, and upcycling

    • Can we create an ecosystem in which remaking and upcycling items is more accessible?

    • Can the value of waste materials and unwanted goods be revitalized through creativity?

    • What does a new lifestyle based on reusing and remaking look like?

    • What is the ideal way of things in a circular economy, beyond the classification of items as new, used, or B-grade?

    • Will visualizing the positive environmental impact of reusing help to change people’s attitude and mentality toward consumption and reuse of items?

    • What is necessary to make reuse of packaging materials the new standard?

    • How can we educate new generations about the circular economy?

    • Realizing sustainable shipping in a circular economy-oriented society where products and materials keep circulating

    • What is a new way of shipping and receiving packages without time and place restraints?

    • What are environmentally-friendly shipping materials that are durable and resistant?

    • Waste reduction

    • How can we create a new option that prevents leftover stock of goods from going to waste?

    • How can we make recycling more accessible and familiar to all?

Projects

What is necessary to make reuse of packaging materials the new standard? #PassOnMercariEcoPack

    • Reuse
    • Transportation
  • What is necessary to make reuse of packaging materials the new standard? #PassOnMercariEcoPack
  • Mercari aims to create a society where items that no longer have value to someone are accessible to someone else who needs them. However, we face an increasing amount of packaging materials going to waste due to the rapid growth of the e-commerce market.
    With the aim of offering a reusable choice for packaging materials, Mercari launched the Mercari Eco Pack in June 2019 and distributed about 10,000 units on a trial basis. Through this experiment, we were able to test whether users would accept reusing packaging materials as a new practice and culture.

Can the value of waste materials and unwanted goods be revitalized through creativity?

    • Collection
    • Manufacturing
  • Can the value of waste materials and unwanted goods be revitalized through creativity?
  • Can we use creativity to find a new method, apart from disposing and recycling, to give new life and value to items that have finished serving their original purpose? With this question in mind, Mercari collaborated with the artist unit Magma for an upcycling project.
    For this project, we created chairs and the Mercari logo mark for the entrance to Mercari’s Tokyo office using a variety of scrap materials. We used old and stained chairs that were already in the office as main materials, and for the remaining parts we used scrap materials purchased on the Mercari app.
    Our goal is to give new value to items that are considered trash, not only by making them useful again and creatively modifying them, but also by making them into a new form of art. These items are not just a simple logo and chairs; they are a work of art that reflects Mercari’s identity as a marketplace gathering many different things and creating new value.

How can we educate new generations about the circular economy? Original cup upcycling workshop with parents and children

    • Upcycle
  • How can we educate new generations about the circular economy? Original cup upcycling workshop with parents and children
  • What is the best way to make the world a better place for future generations? How can we educate children about the earth’s limited resources and the circular economy in an entertaining and interesting way?
    As part of a series of events held for our users, Mercari held a special workshop event for parents and children to create their own cups and plates using B-grade items from the famous Nagasaki Sagamiyaki-style ceramic brand Maruhiro. Participants of this workshop were able to learn about the circular economy by working with B-grade items that normally would go to waste, and using upcycling techniques to create items with new value.

To individual researchers, research institutions, companies, organizations, and media:

Mercari Experiments aims to promote collaborative research and experimentation using different approaches. If you are interested in collaborating with Mercari Experiments, please contact us at the link below.