Terhi Korkiamäki, Luksia
FINLAND: Lukstore - Pedagogical recycling store inside a vocational college
Updated: Dec 20, 2021
Luksia developed a recycling store that allows vocational students from different disciplines to implement circular economy in practice as part of their studies. This reality-based learning environment works as a real store, selling donated clothes, tableware, household goods, books and sports equipment.
Luksia, Municipal Education and Training Consortium in Western Uusimaa, Finland
What problem or issue has the innovative practice aimed to tackle?
With the exception of business studies, almost all other fields have practical learning environments in vocational colleges in Finland. A business teacher in Luksia wanted to change this and replace conventional classroom teaching with a practical, entrepreneurial learning environment. The aim was to also have a strong emphasis on environmental sustainability and on the principles of circular economy. This kind of holistic school-enterprise approach enables reality-based learning: selling real products to real customers. Students will understand the entire production chain of a store, with different work tasks from the procurement of goods to their pricing, visual marketing, social media, photos and editing, online shop, customer service, events...
A particular aim was to also enable a safe learning environment for students with special needs who may have difficulties finding a practice workplace outside Luksia, especially at the beginning of their studies.
What have been the achievements?
The recycling store was opened in September 2018. During its first year, LukStore has sold a total of 12,864 products: donated clothes, tableware, household goods, books and sports equipment.
The online store was created in February 2019 by the business students using the Shopify platform. Photos for the online store are taken and edited at the photography studio in the LukStore storage room.
Although the idea for LukStore came from a vocational teacher, students have been heavily involved not only in the management, but also the design of the store.
Student involvement has been interdisciplinary:
Logistics students take care of the pick-up and deliveries of products
Electrician students check and repair electrical products
Safety students set up security cameras
Media students designed the visual look (logo, signs, price tags)
Textile design students made a clothes collection ”What If” out of recycled materials
LukStore has also enabled internationalisation at home, having welcomed several students from Germany and Spain to do their Erasmus+ mobility periods at LukStore.
LukStore has increased the possibilities of special needs students to practice in professional conditions while still in a safe learning environment.
Who was involved and how?
The education manager plans the budget and teaching accordingly.
Business teachers manage the learning process and evaluation of students.
The vocational instructor is in charge of the daily store management.
Business students take care of the different work tasks related to LukStore.
Teachers and students from other fields participate when necessary.
Sitra, the Finnish Innovation Fund supported the creation of LukStore through the circular economy project funding.