Used gear buyback programs have been popping up among the outdoor industry’s major players in recent years. Patagonia, REI, and The North Face will all take used gear, refurbish it, and sell it at a discount. Some programs buy your used gear to resell it, sorta like a used record store, some just sell returned products. Either way, it keeps gear from landfills, and, hopefully, lessens the impact of producing mountains of gear.
Arc’teryx announced this week their own buyback program, called the Rock Solid. Return a lightly used bit of Arc’teryx gear and they’ll give you 20 percent of the original price in a store credit. Arc’teryx then refurbs the gear as necessary and sells it for much cheaper than you’d pay new. An attractive offering for a company that makes very high-quality gear that typically lives at the higher end of outdoor gear prices.
If the gear sent in is too far gone to be refurbed and sold, Arc’teryx will send it to outdoor programs that can put it to good use. Or figure out some other way to recycle it. If interested, you can either bring your used Arc’teryx gear into one of their brick-and-mortar stores or send it through the mail.
You can also think of the program as a trade-in deal. Maybe you started with one soft shell, then realized you needed a hard shell after all, or a different size, or something lighter and more technical. This frees up closet space, allows somebody else to use the gear without having to make a new piece and allows you to try something else at a less painful price point.
Arc’teryx already does Life Cycle Assessment’s of their products, to determine the impact of producing gear and apparel. The Rock Solid program, Arc’teryx hopes, help close the loop on the life cycle, to prevent a piece’s materials and resources involved in its creation from being wasted.
Not everything makes can be rebought and resold, however. Check here for items that are part of the Rock Solid program before boxing anything up.