Wigan-based business cashes in as searches for eco products surge in lockdown

ClearCycle, which has offices and warehouse space at Ashton-in-Makerfield, is riding the crest of a wave for more sustainable homeware after enjoying year-on-year growth of 205 per cent.

Thursday, 25th February 2021, 3:44 pm
Updated Saturday, 27th February 2021, 9:24 am
Daniel Hague, commercial director at ClearCycle

The firm, which employs nine people at its site on Lockett Road, takes surplus and returned items of furniture, technology and domestic appliances refurbishes them and then offers them for sale on eBay.

Data released by the online selling platform reveals ClearCycle is far from alone in seeing a boom in business in 2020, with customers looking online for upcycled sofas and beds amid huge spikes in searches for terms like ‘sustainable furniture’ and ‘eco furniture’.

Daniel Hague, ClearCycle’s commercial director, said: “The past year has seen more and more consumers buy home furnishings and accessories online at a time when consumers are also more willing to shop sustainably.

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“Traditionally returned items are sold at auction houses or by shops having clearance corners. Sadly, it otherwise goes to landfill.

“These are all time-consuming and expensive.

“Retailers are also wanting to understand the environmental impact of business.

“The most efficient way of using an item that has been returned is not to reduce it to the raw materials or to put its components back through the manufacturing process but to sell it again for its original purpose.

“Online selling has grown its share substantially in the pandemic as bricks and mortar retailers have been closed and people are more reluctant to go into stores.”

New eBay data shows searches for ‘refurbished sofa’ were up 133 per cent in 2020 compared to the previous years, and searches for ‘refurbished bed’ were up 50 per cent on 2019.

Searches for ‘eco furniture’ and ‘sustainable furniture’ saw a huge rise in 2020 compared to 2019, up 123 per cent and 171 per cent respectively.

ClearCycle was founded in 2016 and now employs 15 people across the country as more people looking for a bargain and a smaller carbon footprint when refurbishing their homes log on to its ClearDeals Outlet.

The Wigan team is in the process of moving into bigger premises after logistics firm 3PL, which it partners with, expanded its Ashton site.

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