Gone are the days when consumers simply put something in the trash after using it. As seen above, a variety of alternative “end of life” methods are now available. Several of the disposal method options “reuse” or “repurpose” the products. When products are donated to charity or sold on eBay, they certainly get reused per their originally intended purposes. However, the products’ components can also be reused or repurposed by design – a twist on the business model lifecycle of a product. Manufacturers reusing parts of returned product are essentially accomplishing two things: repurposing the materials and holistically extending the life of the product – both new life in a repurposed product and saved from the landfill. This is an environmentalists’ dream.
Currently, the present popularity of “reuse” in the conventional sense is clearly seen in results from Natural Marketing Institute’s 2008 LOHAS Consumer Trends Database. Donating replaced or worn out items to charitable organizations is the leading disposal method for the durable products studied. Clothing by far has the largest share of items given to charity; with almost three quarters of the general population reporting this activity.