The North Face Joins the Used Gear Game

The North Face has thrown its hat into the ring of brands refurbishing and reselling their products, recently launching a new line called The North Face Renewed. It follows the footsteps of Patagonia’s Worn Wear and REI’s Used Gear Beta in their attempts to keep gear and clothing out of landfills and in the hands of outdoor enthusiasts that will continue making use of them.

Outdoor brand often sell us with their lifetime guarantees, but so rarely does a product actually get a lifetime use from its original buyer. And a lot of the perfectly good, functioning gear ends up being thrown away – The North Face Renewed mission statement includes the horrifying fact that 85 percent percent of textiles produced per year end up in landfills. They state they want to be a part of the shift from a linear model – where we buy something and get rid of it when we’re done with it – to “a circular model where people share, resell, repair and recycle clothing to keep them out of landfills and in the value chain.”

Aside from the obvious environmental benefits, the program also includes some serious your-bank-account benefits, because they’re selling these products with huge markdowns. Backpackers who happily grab mystery T-shirts from hiker boxes are unlikely to be turned off by the idea of used gear anyway, but all items are thoroughly cleaned and repaired before they’re resold, giving more consumers access to good-as-new merchandise that might otherwise be out of their price range.

The program is still in its infancy, with the company hoping to expand and build on it as they go along. Currently, they’re only reselling clothing – no word on if they plan to include more items later on, like their popular daypacks.

The North Face already has a Clothes the Loop program, where customers can bring in used clothes (from any brand) to collection bins at any of their retail or outlet stores. From there it’s properly reused or recycled, and the customer can get a discount on their purchase. Their continued dedication to lessening their brand’s environmental impact is commendable and is hopefully a trend that continues with other brands following suit.

Featured image via Abby Rachwalski

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