Houdini Circle 3000x1000Houdini Circle 600x1000

Houdini Circle: Revolutionary Retail Concept for Rent, Repair or Try Wants to Change Consumption for Good

Swedish outdoor apparel powerhouse Houdini Sportswear has been a pioneer of sustainable innovation since 1993. Boasting an 85% circular collection for FW23 and pioneering circular business services including rental and second-hand sales for more than a decade, the brand has now taken an unprecedented next step in reimagining business models. In September 2023, their new retail concept Houdini Circle opened its doors, a seamless and user-centric way of merging all the brand’s existing business into one. Users can buy, rent or subscribe to everything from new to second-hand garments, including well-worn repaired garments and exclusive remake pieces.

Challenging traditional consumption patterns, Houdini Circle continues to put the user experience central, and with that, offers a more sustainable alternative to the linear business models that still prevail when it comes to consumer goods. Instead of the brand categorizing the garments in rental, reuse or new collections, it’s the user that can choose to access the product in a way that suits them. Any garment in the store, which opened its doors in the bustling heart of Stockholm last September, can be picked up and rented, bought new, or bought second hand. Naturally, their long-existing repair and recycling services are part of the program too. CEO Eva Karlsson explains: “After more than a decade of experience of circular business models and partaking in scientific research of these initiatives, we can conclude that sustainability can be achieved only through a seamless combination of business models, adaptive to individual needs.”

Houdini Circle accommodates to customers’ changing needs, and lives, while offering an inspiration to other businesses on customer care, profitability and planetary boundaries. The initiative requires a completely new perception on pricing, cost and value. Eva Karlsson says: “The point of Houdini Circle isn’t to make maximum profits, but maximum value-creation for all stakeholders. That is what our business is about. Sustainability and good business go hand in hand. This initiative is no exception.” And she adds: “If we want to truly transform our industry, we need to start offering seriously better alternatives to what’s out there, and make sure these alternatives are accessible to more people.”

The goal with Houdini Circle is to make Houdini’s products more accessible to more people, in line with their values and ethical standards. Starting in Stockholm in fall 2023, the company will trial the concept before hopefully expanding it to other markets. A radically different apparel industry is possible, and with Houdini Circle, the Swedish brand gets us one step closer to it.

Related Articles