Thibaud Hug de Larauze: “It should be a right for everyone to be able to fix the product that they have and to use it longer”

Thibaud Hug de Larauze: “It should be a right for everyone to be able to fix the product that they have and to use it longer”

During an interview with the Guardian, Thibaud Hug de Larauze, CEO of Back Market, discussed cost-saving and environmental consciousness through his platform for refurbished electronics. Flaunting his own seven-year-old iPhone as a testament to longevity, he positions himself as an eco-warrior rather than a tech mogul. Back Market, a French unicorn startup, has soared to international heights, advocating for the adoption of pre-owned devices as a means to combat electronic waste and excessive consumption of resources.

The environmental impact of new technology is significant, with its greenhouse gas emissions ranking seventh globally. Repairing a smartphone even once can significantly reduce carbon emissions, highlighting the importance of refurbishment in addressing the 60 million tonnes of electronic waste produced annually. Celebrating its 10th anniversary, Back Market is poised to report its first profit, reflecting a robust growth trajectory, particularly in the UK, where it leads the online refurbished tech market.

Back Market’s ethical and sustainable business model, underscored by its B Corp certification, began with a vision to elevate the refurbished market’s standing. Now offering a diverse range of gadgets in 18 countries, the company emphasizes self-sufficiency over external funding, focusing on profitability and expanding its services to include trade-ins and recycling. As the “right to repair” movement gains momentum, Hug de Larauze advocates for comprehensive legislation to prioritize repair over disposal, ensuring a circular economy and the longevity of devices.

During the interview, the group’s CEO emphasised that “It’s a big driver to wake up and at the end of the day … know that I’m trying to achieve something that is positive,” and even vouches for the added value by saying that  “The more we grow the business, the best it is in terms of impact.”


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