Recycled Department Store

Berlin trials department store that only sells second hand goods. But it's not junk!

Whether you call it second hand, pre-loved, vintage or recycled, this store was established right in the heart of the famous Karstadt department store in order to reach beyond the normal demographic of secondhand shoppers.

A play on the German words for “department store” and “conserving house”, B-Warenhaus sells a wide variety of products, including clothing, furniture, cell phones and other electronics. And the tech items have all been fixed by expert technicians and even come with a one year warranty.

The whole idea is to stop the “throw away culture,” and promote re-use and repair. The store also includes an education centre to encourage more sustainable lifestyles.

“Three years ago, we started collecting all kinds of used goods that people have in their cellars or attics,” Dorothee Winden told Bloomberg CityLab. “Things that are well-preserved and functioning but aren’t being used anymore. The goal is to give these things a new life with somebody who can use them.”

With the success of its initial six month trial run on the third floor of the Karstadt store, the city plans to open four more similar operations in other parts of Berlin. By 2030, it hopes to have at least one location in each of Berlin’s 12 boroughs.

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