Recycle second-hand retail spaces

I found it fantastic that there are all kinds of online/ offline marketplaces helping us to get second-hand furniture, cars, baby stuff and clothes. These platforms encourage consumers to sell, buy or swap ‘used goods’, which goes along with our sustainable life mission.

So how about recycling retail spaces? Especially those fashion stores, who usually spend much efforts on creating exclusive interior to lure the consumers. Behalf all the investments, fashion stores have usually a short life. The retailers pop-up and then disappear, leaving some furnished vacant storefronts in our city.

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I used to look into this shoe shop, Jan Jansen, an exclusive designer brand with elaborated interior. It’s a beautiful shop at a prominent location, though I don’t know how many people could afford this exclusivity and have actually stepped in. Before I made a decision to enter it, the store has already closed down leaving the interior with vacant red shelves.

What a pity. Several times I thought about contacting the owner of the space, and organizing an indoor crafty market to re-use this storefront. It’ll be so great to see this space being used and occupied by the crowds. But the task is to convince the owner with a plan that has little budget. Before I could take action all the red shelves were taken out of the wall and the red interior has turned white.


The red interior has been removed.

I am probably not the only one. There must be many entrepreneurs fantasizing to temporarily use these kind of spaces – to be the second-hand users before the new retailer comes and demolishes everything.

Would it help, I thought, to develop an online marketplace to recycle vacant retail spaces to second-hand users? This can facilitate the communication between the individual amateurish initiatives and the real estate agencies. The two parties can connect to each other more easily and come up with a win-win solution. This could help us to be more involved in a sustainable urban environment, besides recycling personal belongings.

Second-hand retail space. For our pocket and for our city.


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