The North Face to Start Selling Refurbished Gear

The North Face Renewed program is the latest used gear marketplace from an outdoor apparel powerhouse.


Want a new North Face parka but wary of paying for a new piece of gear? Perhaps you’d like a new fleece but would prefer not to contribute to our ever-growing landfills? The North Face has your back. They’ve just launched The North Face Renewed, a marketplace featuring The North Face apparel that’s been worn, turned in, and refurbished to like-new standards.

The refurbished gear train, already being pushed by Patagonia’s Worn Wear and REI’s Used Gear program, is now gaining even further momentum with another powerhouse like The North Face getting on board.

“It just represents a really important next step in the evolution of our overall business,” Tim Bantle, a general manager and vice president of lifestyle brands at The North Face told Fast Company. “When you’re building the quality of products that we are, but you’re only assuming one life for that, you’re really short-changing all of the work that you’re doing in terms of the design and development process.”

The North Face’s program is in pilot mode this summer, at least through September, during which the stock in their used gear program will come internally, from samples, and returns already collected, repaired and freshened up to its shiniest best. The plan may eventually accept customer returns at stores to be added to the refurb stock.

Either way, The North Face looks to be in this for the long haul. “I have every hope that this will become a kind of a permanent fixture inside the brand,” explains Bantle.

The North Face is partnering with an outside company, The Renewal Workshop, to provide the refurbishing.

As of now, The North Face Renewed has a mountain of apparel available, men’s and women’s, everything from down jackets to hiking pants, lots of which come at a significant discount from new. The products purchased through the program—online only, as of now—are protected by a one-year warranty too.

The idea is to keep gear out of landfills, and provides a lower barrier of entry, price-wise, to attract new customers under The North Face tent. The program’s website explains that 85 percent of textiles produced each year end up in landfills. Gear renewal programs like these not only help to forestall filling up dumps, it also creates a circular market, where gear and apparel can not only be resold but can have the maximum possible value extracted.

“We are furthering our sustainability goals without sacrificing durability or technical standards,” said James Rogers, director of sustainability at The North Face. “Ultimately, as we work to scale Renewed, we will be proving a larger, circular model for the industry.”

 

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