Swedish sportswear company and sustainability pioneer Houdini has expanded its circularity platform and opened “Houdini Circle,” the first retail concept of its kind, in Stockholm.

Flexible apparel “ownership”

In one single location, customers can now choose how to access their garments: Rent, subscribe, buy new/used/exclusively made garments, or exchange for other Houdini pieces.

Eva Karlsson Houdini in front of Houdini store

Source: Houdini

Houdini CEO Eva Karlsson

The launch of Houdini Circle coincided with Eva Karlsson’s participation in Climate Week NY, where the CEO participated in a series of panel events, including the Action Speaks Summit, the Mastercard Roundtable Global Optimism on Sustainable Consumption and the Stage of Impact Mastercard Talk.

Karlsson asked visitors to these events to join her “Live Large with Less” movement, to downsize their wardrobes and combat overconsumption.

Less is more

Launched in 2022, the “Live Large with Less” program challenges people to downsize their wardrobes and enjoy less, more. “Houdini Circle” supports this vision by putting users and their needs at the center of the shopping experience.

With support from Boston Consulting Group, Houdini is developing a new business model with a pricing structure that reflects these in-store options. To highlight the user benefits, not just the sustainability elements of this initiative, the new store concept is being echoed in a creative campaign that invites people – in relation to their Houdini wardrobe – to “Get rid of your ex; Find the love of your life; or Date someone new every week.”

“With the world gathering in New York City to discuss the urgent climate crisis and the fashion world descending on iconic cities, we must bring circularity front and center and set an example,” said Karlsson. “If we truly want to change our industry, we have to provide alternatives to the current state and make sure these alternatives are accessible to everyone.

“We have provided rental and repair services and second-hand sales for more than a decade. With Houdini Circle, we bring this concept to consumers at one venue, giving them autonomy on how they want to access, shape and curate their wardrobes. This is a critical and reimagined business model that we hope to expand globally.”

New subscription service

As part of its offering, Houdini Circle is introducing the first subscription service for Outdoor Apparel, allowing users to sign up for seasonal groupings and trade items in-store. The cost of a monthly subscription ranges from 450 to 700 Swedish kronor (€38 to €60) per month and is based on the fall, winter, spring and summer seasons. The starting subscription includes a basic package of a jacket, midlayer and pants. Subscribers can add more pieces to increase their subscription.

“The point of Houdini Circle isn’t to make maximum profits but to create value for all of our stakeholders,” said Karlsson. “That is what our business is about. Sustainability and good business go hand in hand. This initiative is no exception. We hope to expand this concept to other global markets after an additional testing period.”

-> Want to know more about circular business? Check out our Re:Thinking Business Special.

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Image source: Houdini