Circular Economy case study: Gerrard Street Headphones

“Better stuff. Better service. Better world. This is how all devices should be designed.” Gerrard Street.

Who is Gerrard Street?

Gerrard Street headphones are a pioneering example of the circular economy coming to life. The Dutch company was founded in 2015 and from the outset their business model was built to be circular. 

Product as a service

Gerrard Street offers high end modular-made headphones as a subscription service. The design, without glue, means the products are easy to disassemble and repair, and 85% of the components are designed to be reused. The subscription model means that the company retains ownership and thus responsibility for the product for its lifetime. At the end of their lives the headphones are recovered or recycled responsibly. In the case of product fault, (Gerrard Street offers free repairs for life) the company can either send out the replacement part to the user or the headphones can be sent in for in-house repair. Users can upgrade or replace their model of headphones allowing access to high-end products for all. 

Customer retention

The company is able to form a close connection with the users of its products through the ongoing subscription relationship and can capture a segment of the market who could not normally afford premium headphones. Their business model is circular and is a stark contrast to the linear economy model where products are designed for take, make and waste, these headphones are designed to be used for as long as possible.