Shop and Sell Your Clothes Sustainably With These 13 Buyback and Resale Programs
Even when bought for cheap, new clothing comes with a big environmental price tag. According to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, the fashion industry is responsible for 10% of global CO2 emissions. In the face of these issues, many top fashion brands are adopting a more circular approach to selling, bringing worn items back to their storefronts instead of sending them to the landfill. Resale and buyback programs allow customers to send used clothing back for either money or store credit. From there, the items are either recycled, upcycled into new products, or resold by the company. These are a few companies that want to buy back your unwanted clothes, and have online secondhand shops that are well worth a visit.
Allbirds – ReRun
Since their launch in 2016, Allbirds sneakers have become a big name in the shoe space — and now they’re making used and imperfect footwear available through their new ReRun program. Head to one of three participating retail locations — in Los Angeles, California; Oak Brook, Illinois; and New York, New York — to trade in used Allbirds sneakers in exchange for a $20 gift card. If your shoes have really seen their last day, the company will recycle or donate them for you free of charge.
Arc’Teryx – ReBird
Arc’Teryx’s ReBird initiative isn’t just for buybacks — it’s also a resource for repairing and repurposing outdoor apparel. If you don’t want to part with your gear, the ReCARE program helps you fix items at home. For simple fixes, visit any retail store, or submit a service request online for bigger issues. Bring in used gear and apparel to any Arc’Teryx store to trade it in through ReGEAR, or send it via mail (although the cost of shipping will be deducted from your payout). The company has also started diverting rescued textiles through their ReCut program to make new Arc’Teryx products.
Athleta – Athleta Preloved
For pre-loved athletic apparel for women and girls, check out Athleta’s new buyback program in partnership with thredUP. Athleta — a certified B Corporation – states that they’ve already recirculated 525,000 clothing items in an effort to keep garments out of landfills. To send in clothing, get a thredUP Clean Out Kit online, or print a free shipping label. You’ll get store credit for eligible items, and can choose to have unaccepted items either returned or recycled.
Carhartt – Carhartt Reworked
Carhartt is fresh on the resale scene, giving customers the option of buying discounted workwear through Carhartt Reworked starting in March 2023. Eligible clothing items sold by Carhartt within the past 10 years can be exchanged for gift cards at six U.S. stores, but the company plans to expand the program to all of their retail locations by the end of the year. Carhartt gear is legendary for its durability, so you’ll have no problem finding great used bibs and overalls, hoodies and sweatshirts, pants, and outerwear on their website.
Eileen Fisher – Renew
Eileen Fisher wants even your most well-worn women’s wear — every garment brought to a retail location can be exchanged for a $5 rewards card through Eileen Fisher Renew, regardless of condition. If it’s too worn to sell, the company will recycle it for you. There are even two Renew storefronts that sell exclusively used Eileen Fisher clothing in Irvington, NY and Seattle, WA.
Juicy Couture – REJUICED
Break out those tracksuits from the far reaches of the closet. Juicy Couture has opened a new resale marketplace for jackets, jean skirts, and everything in between. In partnership with Recurate, REJUICED allows customers to do the selling themselves through a convenient online storefront. Create a Juicy account and then search your purchase history to create a product listing in exchange for an e-gift card once it sells.
Levi’s – Levi’s Secondhand
Denim manufacturing is notorious for its environmental cost, but Levi’s says that buying a used pair of jeans saves about 80% of CO2 emissions and 1.5 pounds of waste as opposed to a new pair. While you’re deciding between straight leg or skinny, book a trade-in appointment at any Levi’s store to have your pre-worn items evaluated. Store credit ranges from $5-30 per item based on the year of manufacture and type of clothing item (yes, there’s tons of vintage at Levi’s Secondhand).
Lululemon – Like New
When you’re in need of some new athletic wear, look no further than Lululemon Like New, where workout staples go for about half their retail price. After piloting the program in California and Texas in 2021, Lulu’s buyback and resale program went nationwide. Pre-worn clothing can be dropped off at stores for evaluation, and accepted items will earn you store credit: $5 for shirts, shorts, and skirts; $10 for hoodies, sweatshirts and sweaters, pants and leggings, and dresses; $10 for large bags; and $25 for outerwear. 100% of the profits from Like New are invested in sustainability initiatives, too.
Madewell – Madewell Forever
Reselling clothes to Madewell is as simple as requesting a thredUP Clean Out Kit or printing out a label — they’ll do the rest. A pair of Madewell jeans earns you $20 in credit, and the payout for other clothing items ranges from 4% and 56% of their retail price. Jeans that are deemed unsellable will be recycled through Cotton’s Blue Jeans Go Green program. If you’re looking for a great deal on Madewell staples, shop for pre-loved items on their website.
The North Face – Renewed
Those in the XPLR Pass loyalty membership program with The North Face are invited to take part in their Renewed take-back program, where used apparel and gear can be exchanged for $10 off your next North Face purchase. Renewed sells items used online — as well as returned, damaged, and defective clothing straight from the company — under two categories: Like-New, which includes items with no visible repairs; and Reconditioned, which have small visible repairs and are up to 60% off retail price. If something is too worn to make the cut, the scraps are used to create garments for their REMADE collection.
Patagonia – Worn Wear
Patagonia has already cemented its reputation as a highly-sustainable company — founder Yvon Chouinard gave away the company last year, stating that Earth is now the “company’s only shareholder” — and most of their products can be mended through their robust repair program. But if you’re ready to part with a Patagonia product, the store accepts functional items at any storefront or via mail in exchange for store credit through Worn Wear.
REI – Re/Supply
Outdoor gear is notoriously expensive, and it can be a barrier to getting outside. Shopping used means you can get high-quality gear and clothing for outdoor activities at a fraction of the price, and REI is all about it. Through Re/Supply, REI Co-op members can shop online and in stores for used clothing, as well as shoes, tents, sleeping bags, and other gear. Trade in by mail or at any REI store, and receive an REI gift card in return. Find estimates for the trade-in value of specific items on their website.
Timberland – Timberloop
The name says it all. Timberland wants to close the loop in their clothing model, providing donation boxes at any Timberland store for customers to drop off their used clothes, shoes, and accessories (and you get a 10% off coupon in exchange). From there, items are either dismantled for recycling or upcycling into new products, or refurbished for resale. An online storefront for pre-worn Timberland garb isn’t open yet, but hopefully that option is forthcoming. Timberland has, however, created an entirely new line of products designed for easy dismantling, making them much easier to recycle at the end of their useful life.