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courtesy of Reconomy Group/ReBound

Reconomy Group acquires ReBound to “supercharge” sustainable returns

By Danielle Wightman-Stone

11 May 2021

ReBound Returns, the tech platform helping the likes of Asos, Gymshark and Sweaty Betty manage returns sustainably, has been acquired by Reconomy, the UK’s leading recycling and waste management giant.

The move is set to “supercharge” retail’s sustainability efforts, added both companies in a statement, as the industry attempts to tackle the environmental impact of surging global return volumes, which have risen by 65 percent during the Covid-19 pandemic, according to ReBound data.

Reconomy said the acquisition is part of its ambition of becoming a leading global enabler of the circular economy and is the latest in a line of investments as part of its strategic growth plan. ReBound will join other technology-enabled sustainability service providers, including RLG and Cycleon, the European returns logistics and compliance specialists, and Valpak, the UK’s largest packaging compliance scheme and data insight provider.

ReBound will continue to operate under its own name while “collaborating closely” across the Reconomy Group, sharing technology, data and services as it continues to develop ways for retail to transform their returns practices.

Paul Cox, Reconomy chief executive, said in a statement: “Adding ReBound to the Reconomy Group is a very exciting development and we extend a warm welcome to the whole team. Their innovative approach, underpinned by great technology and a focus on providing an excellent user experience, makes for a perfect fit with Reconomy.

“Sustainable returns have taken on even more importance during the pandemic and represent a challenge for many businesses looking to achieve high environmental standards. ReBound’s expertise, combined with the Reconomy Group’s existing returns activity, will offer clear, unique benefits to our customers as we continue to build an unrivalled set of services to help drive the circular economy on the global stage.”

Reconomy Group looking to become leading global enabler of the circular economy following ReBound acquisition

The addition of ReBound adds further breadth to the Reconomy Group’s technology-enabled environmental services, which it states will “ultimately benefit customers” who will be able to manage returns in one place alongside resource management, setting and monitoring a common set of KPIs.

ReBound was founded in 2014 by Graham Best and Phil Smith and has become a global leader in managed returns services, helping brands understand what’s being sent back to them and why, as well as providing a range of options on what to do with inbound items. The company specialises in working with fashion brands to offset the environmental impact of packaging, shipping and processing returns, helping brands calculate the most carbon-efficient routes, eliminate wasted transport miles and recycle goods wherever possible.

Commenting on becoming part of Reconomy, Graham Best, ReBound founder and chief executive, said: “Thanks to the lockdown-inspired e-commerce surge, retail faces an environmental crisis and this is the ideal partnership to help brands diffuse that ticking time bomb. At ReBound, we’ve always prided ourselves on helping retailers recognise the value of their returns data.

“Uniting with Reconomy Group’s incredible resources now means there are boundless opportunities for retailers to apply that data to tackle returns sustainably, from knowing which worldwide recycling services are available to tap into, to supercharging advanced analytics to sell items that customers actually want to keep.”

Reconomy is the UK’s market-leading provider of outsourced services to drive the circular economy including recycling, waste and resource management. It works with thousands of UK businesses, from SMEs through to large blue-chip companies, helping them to manage their waste in a responsible, sustainable and cost-effective way using technology to enhance customer experience.