To test their business case Asket rolled out a prototype in the beginning of 2020 in Sweden and Germany. They emailed 1500 customers to offer them a limited trade-in opportunity. Customers who registered within seven days had the chance to trade-in their Asket garments via mail with a prepaid shipping label in exchange for a reward. Asket tested three different reward tiers: low and high rewards, which were dependent on the type of garment that was traded in, or a fixed reward, independent of what customers would send in. While the conversion rate was highest for the high reward group, the quality and quantity of clothing was best for the fixed reward group. Asket also learned that convenience is key after experiencing a drop in completion rate (sending the garment(s) in after receiving shipping label) due to shipping issues in Sweden. To increase engagement in the pilot launching 2021, Asket now wants to focus on their marketing strategy as well as ensuring the convenience of the trade-in process for their customers.
One of the key hurdles that Asket encountered whilst prototyping their circular business model was a low participation rate from their customers. In Asket’s case, this wasn’t necessarily a bad sign, but rather reflected how sustainability-minded their target customer is, as they ordinarily wear their Asket products until tear. Understanding this, Asket decided to put more focus on the take-back aspect of the model, rather than the resale part, and ensure that it is as convenient as possible for their customers to responsibly dispose of their Asket products at eventual end-of-use.
Meanwhile, the circular innovation process itself challenged the Asket team to step out of their comfort zone and to explore the full range of possible solutions available to them. They learnt that there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ circular business model and rather, saw that they needed to design a concept that uniquely fitted with their brand values, their product and their customer.
Asket will launch their resale pilot in 2021, starting off with the introduction of the new take-back system in spring followed by the first resale pop-up events in summer. Asket expects their circular business model to be profitable after seven to eight years, through the organic growth of the program. In the meantime, in line with their brand’s vision, the team aims to learn from the pilot in order to maximise the longevity of each Asket garment.