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REI extends used gear digital platform

On average, products from REI digital platform can be purchased for up to 65% less than buying the same products new.

24th August 2018

Innovation in Textiles
 |  Seattle, WA

Sustainable, Sports/​Outdoor, Clothing/​Footwear

On average, products from can be purchased for up to 65% less than buying the same products new, helping more people get the gear they need.REI Co-op, a US based specialty outdoor retailer, is reaffirming its commitment to sustainable, affordable pre-loved gear for customers, with a refreshed used gear website featuring new brands and more product categories available for purchase. The platform also offers a series of member-to-member gear swaps and a team of employees dedicated to getting lightly used products in the hands of more customers.

“At REI, we believe a life outdoors is a life well-lived, but we know that the cost of brand-new gear can be a barrier to access,” commented Peter Whitcomb, REI's Director of Strategy and leader of the co-op's used gear efforts. “We launched Used Gear Beta online last year with the belief that we could help get more people outside by finding new homes for pre-loved gear and apparel.”

On average, products from can be purchased for up to 65% less than buying the same products new, helping more people get the gear they need to enjoy a life outdoors. “In its first 10 months, the beta test has been successful beyond all expectation, which tells us there is an inherent appetite for high-quality, lightly used product at lower price points,” said Whitcomb.

Keeps products out of landfills

For years, the co-op has sold lightly used product (returned under its 100% satisfaction guarantee policy) at in-store Garage Sales. REI's legendary garage sales regularly draw huge crowds but are limited to members who live near physical REI stores. Likewise, the product selection at any individual sale is largely determined by what has been returned to that store. Making that gear available online, as well as in-store, helps get affordable, niche product in the hands of the customers who want it, and keeps quality products out of landfills, the company explains.

“As long as people are enjoying the outdoors, they'll need gear to power their adventures,” said Greg Gausewitz, REI's Manager of Product Sustainability. “If you're an outdoor enthusiast looking to reduce your environmental footprint, you can approach this from both ends: by looking for more sustainably made products at the outset, and by getting more life out of existing products by purchasing used gear.”

Product sustainability standards

In April, REI unveiled a set of comprehensive product sustainability standards, ensuring that new products purchased at REI have a lower environmental and social footprint. The co-op also outlined a set of preferred sustainability attributes, to highlight for customers products with leading sustainability features like bluesign, Fair Trade Certified and responsibly sourced down.

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