Outdoor clothing and sporting goods company Arc’teryx is just the latest in a string of brands to launch a program designed to repurpose and reuse (gently) used gear.
Last week the brand launched its Rock Solid Used Gear program, a “re-commerce” program that asks customers to send in or drop off their used Arc’teryx gear to one of the brand’s retail stores across the U.S. If the product is in good condition, the brand will give customer a gift card totaling 20% of the original retail price for the item. Arc’teryx then takes items sent in from customers and resells them at a discounted price. If it’s not in good enough condition to resell, but it’s still usable, the company said it will still take the item and donate it to someone in need.
The idea for the program came roughly five years when Arc’teryx started thinking about how to improve the lifecycle of its backpacks, insulated jackets, shell jackets and more. As the quality of the products get better, people could wear them for longer. But then there were some who would buy a product for a single hiking excursion or other outdoor trip and weren’t wearing them again.
“All of this durability of product design meant we’re building products that oftentimes outlasted the original users need for it. We knew there were pieces sitting in people’s closets that weren’t getting used, and we started trying to think of the ways we could get those pieces into back into service,” said Drummond Lawson, director of sustainability at Arc’teryx.
While the brand is starting just with the U.S. market, and products that are still in good condition, it plans to expand to more regions and add more programs in the future
With concerns of textile waste courtesy of the fashion and apparel industry only growing—the United Nations reported that roughly 85% of textiles end up in landfills or are incinerated—brands across the industry are finding ways to reuse and recycle garments.
“This first prototype is going out in one geography. We’re just looking for the excellent to lightly worn condition goods, basically going in with as low complexity as possible to be able to prove out this circular model,” Lawson said.