Circular retail solutions to put a new lease of life into kids’ pre-loved soft toys
In partnership with
Circular Design
Service Design
Following a 3-day CIRCO Circular Design Sprint with Chemistry, Mandai Wildlife Group discovered an opportunity to make their retail stores more sustainable.
Partnering with Soft Toy Hospital, Chemistry helped the retail team to develop and implemented an end to end circular retail service for visitors to upcycle and restore the soft toys purchased at their retail shops. Now, kids can 'heal' damaged soft toys, extending their playtime while reducing waste.

Mandai Wildlife Group manages Singapore's incredible wildlife parks – Singapore Zoo, River Wonders, Night Safari, and Bird Paradise. Deeply committed to conservation, the team has been seeking ways to reduce their environmental impact and inspire guests to make more sustainable choices.

A cross functional team took part in Chemistry’s 3-day CIRCO workshop (a program setup by Delft University of Technology).

How might we incorporate the advocacy for recycling and upcycling into an iconic retailstore experience?

What We Did
Applying the CIRCO Methodology

Participants applied Circular Design principles to tackle challenges like food waste and visitor experience. However with over 150 thousand soft toys sold at their retail outlet, there was a clear opportunity to find a viable business model that could breath new life into kids’ old but much loved soft toys rather than buying new ones.

Giving pre-loved soft toys a new lease of life

Young visitors of MWG parks are encouraged to come back and “heal” their damaged or unwanted toys, giving them a new lease of life.

Working in partnership with The Soft Toy Hospital which offers soft toy restoration, repair and cleaning services underpinned by a commitment to the environment.

Donation boxes were set up at strategic locations within MWG parks as a permanent feature. Educational workshops were conducted for members to learn how to repair soft toys, and upcycled toys were put on display to inspire guests and help reframe our relationship with pre-loved products.

The CIRCO Training helped break down the value chain of our operations and helped us identify circular opportunities and the potential commercial savings to be realised.

Daisy Tan
VP of Retail
Mandai Wildlife Group
The Result

The upcycling efforts has reached more than 5,000 guests who passed through the single display at the Singapore Zoo’s Kidzworld retail store. Already more that 1,500 toys have been brought in for the Toy Hospital crew to perform their magic. Now the retail team hopes to continue to increase the repair and upcycle rate through continued efforts through school engagements and educational content.

By following the CIRCO methodology, MWG identified valuable opportunities to drive business in the post-use stage of their soft toys by offering their guests the option to recycle, repair and reuse. They were able to create value for defective or damaged products in their retail operations, when these toys would have otherwise previously been thrown away.

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