ReCollector did not start from an idea but a need for other solutions for waste sorting. Function, design, material and much more became a compromise between what was optimal for consumer needs and what could be done.
After the municipalities began to increase waste sorting in Danish homes, many experienced frustration, as they wanted to sort waste but ended up with recyclable waste lying on the kitchen table, in the utility room and in the hallway. Taking out the garbage several times a day also does not add up, especially not in an apartment on the 4th floor.
Lack of space and storage of the recyclable waste was and is a challenge in relation to getting the waste sorted. It was exactly that need for a solution that got the founder and owner of ReCollector Tenna Holdorff Christiansen thinking, and which slowly started the idea for a potential business.
Anthropology as a foundation
"As a trained anthropologist, it was never in the cards for me to throw myself into entrepreneurship, but after many conversations and observations of waste habits, frustrations with waste sorting and preferences for other systems, the idea sprouted. Perhaps you could help with a solution to a concrete problem with my anthropological background?”
Research was carried out in the form of workshops, interviews, meetings and reports. Slowly, all that knowledge took shape in concrete drawings for a product with a strong focus on ease of use and stylish design. It must be easy to sort waste, and it must also be an aesthetic experience. The bin could easily look like a stylish interior and thus hang forward on the wall to accommodate the lack of space under the kitchen sink and kitchen drawers. Our valuable resources are welcome to hang on.
Durability, the most important feature
Sustainability has always been on Tenna Holdorff's mind, and therefore there was no doubt that the product had to be produced as sustainably as possible and in a material as sustainable as possible. Of course, preferably without compromising on a stylish design. It turned out to be a difficult nut to crack, but in collaboration with the production company Unika at Silkeborg, we managed to get plastic from Italy in 100% recycled plastic for the waste boxes. You can read more about the challenges regarding recycled plastic here .
Everything became clear and after half a year Tenna could order the moulds, but despite a thorough risk analysis, a pandemic had not been taken into account, which ended up being a huge setback for the entrepreneurial adventure. Shutdown, bankrupt plastic supplier, lack of steel from Italy, corona infection at the factory and much more meant a 10-month delay.
In February 2021, ReCollector was finally able to launch our design solution for waste sorting, and we can now enjoy the wonderful sight of ReCollector boxes hanging around the Danish homes and contributing to the sustainable agenda and easy waste sorting in everyday life.
Tenna and ReCollector have therefore been – and are – on an exciting journey to contribute to making Danes' everyday lives more sustainable. The whole thing, of course, seasoned with good aha experiences as well as challenges, both the classic entrepreneurial challenges and the extraordinary ones of this kind.
Thanks for following along on our adventure.