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2022 has been an exciting year of growth for branded resale. Across the retail industry, brands—such as Allbirds, REI, and Cuyana—have launched or expanded buyback programs.
With clothing buyback programs, brands power their own resale marketplaces. Rather than using third-party marketplaces—such as The RealReal or Poshmark—customers can resell and purchase pre-loved items directly from a brand.
Branded resale empowers shoppers to reject overconsumption and keep their pre-loved goods out of landfills. At the same time, shoppers can purchase pre-worn apparel and gear from brands they love. For retailers, resale as a channel boosts customer engagement, drives sustainable practices, and grows profitability without growing emissions.
Levi’s launched Levi’s Secondhand in October 2020. The clothing buyback program was the “first of its kind” for a denim brand. Customers can trade in pre-loved clothing, buy pre-worn styles, and find vintage pieces.
Customers start by booking trade-in appointments online. A retail associate will inspect potential items during the appointment. In exchange for accepted apparel, customers receive trade-in credits ranging from $5 to $30. If items are “unwearable,” Levi’s will donate or recycle them.
The program contributes to Levi’s sustainability strategy, which focuses on protecting the climate, rethinking consumption, and building communities. According to Levi’s, buying a pre-worn pair of Levi’s jeans saves approximately 80% of CO2 emissions and 1.5 pounds of waste compared to buying a new pair.
Introduced in 2017, Worn Wear by Patagonia celebrates the “Stories We Wear.” The program enables customers to resell and purchase pre-loved apparel and gear.
Customers can trade in clothing by mail or visit a Patagonia store. If items are accepted, customers will receive credit for use in a retail store, on Patagonia’s website, or at wornwear.com. The outdoor brand then repairs and refurbishes products for resale.
Patagonia’s Worn Wear initiative is part of the company’s broader effort to protect the planet—such as its 1% For The Planet and Patagonia Action Works initiatives. According to Patagonia, buying pre-loved garments reduces a product’s carbon footprint by at least 30%.
In 2021, Lululemon piloted its Like New program in 86 stores. The majority of trade-ins during its first year qualified as “good as new.” In the Spring of 2022, Lululemon expanded the program across the United States.
With Like New, Lululemon aims to “keep gear in motion and out of landfills.” Customers bring their pre-loved items to a store and receive a credit towards future purchases.
Like New is part of a larger sustainability strategy for the lifestyle brand, which includes creating a circular ecosystem and using 100% sustainable materials by 2030.
Eileen Fisher was one of the first brands to start a clothing buyback program. Since 2009, over 1.9 million pieces have been resold, donated, or remade into new designs. The brand even operates two Renew stores in Irvington, NY, and Seattle, WA.
The Renew program empowers customers to create a more sustainable wardrobe. A customer can trade in clothing at any Eileen Fisher or Renew store or mail it to the company. The brand will then sort, repair, and clean each piece for resale. For each item accepted, customers receive $5 in Renew Rewards.
Renew does more than keep clothes out of landfills. The program educates shoppers about the environmental benefits of repairing, upcycling, and recycling clothing to change the industry’s “take-make-waste” model.
With Re/Supply, REI aims to “reimagine the lifecycle of outdoor gear.” Since its launch in 2018, the program has been a great success. Last year, REI reported 86% revenue growth of its Re/Supply business. In 2022, REI expanded the program to all 168 U.S. stores.
Customers must be Co-op members to participate. After determining whether the trade-in is eligible and estimating its value online, customers can bring pre-loved products to their local REI store. If customers prefer to mail their products, REI will provide a pre-paid label. Upon acceptance, customers receive a gift card via email. The outdoor retailer will then refurbish pre-loved apparel and gear for resale.
The Re/Supply program is part of a larger initiative to promote a “future for used gear, and life outside.” Last year, the company donated $7.1 million to more than 450 nonprofit partners to “address industry inequities and protect the planet.”
The North Face is on a mission to “give gear a second chance.” With its Clothes the Loop program, customers can trade in and buy pre-loved outdoor apparel and gear.
The program is open to customers who are part of the brand’s XPLR Pass loyalty membership program. Customers can receive a $10 discount on their next purchase when they trade in pre-loved North Face gear at participating stores. Currently, the program is only available in the United States and Canada.
Clothes the Loop is part of the outdoor retailer’s mission to “Waste Less Explore More.” As part of its Renewed program, the brand keeps pre-loved, returned, damaged, or defective gear in use. The company also uses scraps of unsellable goods to manufacture its REMADE collection.
Launched in August 2021, Timberloop by Timberland is a circular design platform. With Timberloop, the outdoor and workwear brand is rethinking design and manufacturing, focused on extending a product’s lifecycle.
Customers can trade in pre-loved footwear, clothing, and accessories by mail or bring items to a donation box in participating stores. (The retailer also accepts brands other than Timberland.) Upon acceptance, customers receive 20% off one Timberland item.
Timberland divides pre-loved products into two categories. Whenever possible, the retailer will repair and clean products for resale. If items are unsellable, Timberland will upcycle the fabric and materials.
Customers request a Clean Out Kit and mail in their pre-loved items. All labels, including brands other than Madewell, are eligible. Clean-out Kits take up to four weeks to process, and the payouts vary.
Each pair of Madewell jeans entitles customers to $20 in credit, while the payout for other items ranges between 4% and 56%. Customers can redeem credit in any Madewell store or online.
Founded in April 2022, Revive by Cuyana aims to give pre-loved Cuyana pieces a second life. The program is unique. Revive lets customers list their small leather goods and bags online.
Users identify products from Cuyana’s product catalog and post them on the Revive website. Although sellers can set their prices, Cuyana will recommend an amount based on the original price and quality of the item. When an item sells, Cuyana sends the user a pre-paid shipping label. Sellers can redeem 70% of their earnings as cash or 100% as Cuyana Credit.
The Revive program is part of Cuyana’s mission to produce “Fewer, Better Things.” With Revive by Cuyana, the brand keeps its long-lasting products in circulation and out of landfills.
Customers request a Clean Out Kit and fill the box with any brands. Once the kit is processed, items will be available for resale on thredUP’s website for 30 days.
Customers receive a credit when an item sells, redeemable online or in-store. If a product doesn’t sell, the company will recycle it or return it to the customer for a fee.
ReBird by Arc’Teryx aims to “get gear back in action.” With ReBird, the brand encourages circularity. According to Arc’Teryx, the production of one of its jackets creates 65% of the product’s environmental impact.
Customers can trade in pre-loved clothing online or in-store. For pieces eligible for “rewilding,” customers receive a gift card of 20% of the original price. If Arc’Teryx deems the item unsellable, the brand will upcycle the materials and fabric into new pieces.
Launched in May 2022, ReRun by Allbirds enables customers to trade in and buy pre-loved Allbirds shoes. The direct-to-consumer brand is currently piloting the program in three stores, with plans to expand it across the United States.
Allbirds’ customers can trade in re-worn shoes and receive $20 in credit. The brand will refurbish and resell shoes starting at $59 per pair. If Allbirds cannot resell an item, it will be donated or recycled.
ReRun is part of Allbirds’ “Flight Plan” initiative, a series of sustainability commitments. The footwear retailer aims to reduce its per-product carbon footprint in half by the end of 2025.
On started its trade-in program—Onward by On—in September 2022. Customers fill out a form online with a description of their pre-loved shoes. If the items are accepted, the brand will send customers a pre-paid shipping label by email. After On receives the shoes, customers receive a $35 gift card.
Upon arrival at the On warehouse, all shoes are cleaned and refurbished for resale. The company will donate or recycle any pairs considered unsellable.
Onward by On is part of the brand’s initiative for “less waste, more performance.” The brand has taken numerous measures to minimize its environmental impact—including using carbon emissions as raw materials and introducing a circular subscription service.
The IKEA Buy Back and Resell program is open to members of its IKEA Family Member loyalty program. Customers submit a form and receive a quote for their pre-loved furniture. After receiving an estimate, customers bring all items to a participating IKEA store in exchange for store credit. The program will accept most furniture except beds, mattresses, sofas, and certain leather products.
IKEA’s Buy Back and Resell program is part of IKEA’s journey to be a circular business by 2030. The Swedish retailer hopes to expand the program across the globe.
Trove is a white-label technology service that powers branded resale marketplaces directly on your domain. Trove’s all-in-one platform unifies the technology, operations, and analytics to help brands launch and grow clothing buyback programs.
Trove works with some of the world’s most loved brands to keep goods out of landfills—including Lululemon, REI, Allbirds, and Eileen Fisher. In 2022, our brand partners saved over 2 million kgs of CO2 emissions and prevented over 200,000 kgs of landfill waste.
Book a demo today to discover how brands deliver exceptional branded resale customer experiences with Trove.