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Refurbished tech for the future

At a time when the planet is calling for more earth- friendly technology, refurbished second-hand devices might just be the answer.

The ever-growing production of new phones each year has a severe environmental impact. While the camera is now the only major upgrade on new generation smartphones, the e-waste footprint keeps nothings but increasing. Yet buying refurbished electronics remains uncommon. The Vienna-based startup Refurbed hopes to change that.

Founded in 2017, Refurbed sells fully refurbished products online that come with a minimum 12-month warranty at a price 40% cheaper than new products. The startup thus contributes to the UN's Sustainable Development Goal number 12 - responsible production and consumption. With over 80 employees and $45 million in total sales in 2019, the startup's impact is already perceptible.

The company is currently planning to expand its market and attract new customers across Europe. In March this year, Refurbed officially launched in Ireland, with no customs fees for buyers. As part of its launch, between 11 and 21 March, Refurbed organized a "Go Greener" project which planted two trees for every purchase made.

From homeschooling to teleworking, the demand and need for electronics have never been greater with the current Covid-19 pandemic. The lower price of refurbished products has the advantage of making life easier in the age of the coronavirus.

Other companies have decided to take up the challenge of selling refurbished electronics.

Founded in 2010, the American company Swappa is one of the biggest players in the market. In 2014, the French startup Back Market established itself not only in Europe but also in the US.

Despite the competition, Peter Windischhofer, the founder of Refurbed, believes that the untapped market for refurbished electronics is still huge.

Ultimately, the growing number of competitors proves the unsustainability of our e-waste footprint. The main problem remains that people, especially in Europe, are not aware that refurbished products exist.

You can find more information on their website:

The Dauphine Futuria Team

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