There’s a paradox that every outdoor gear company must face: how to come to terms with the fact that the places in which these products are used are the most at-risk by the production process required to make them. Companies address this identity crisis in various ways — many source materials as sustainably and ethically as possible, some donate a portion of profits to charitable foundations, others use lobbying power to affect change in public policy.
A newer development is to upend the traditional retail approach by offering a very progressive return and repair policy and selling refurbished gear for low prices. Patagonia has set the standard for this model with its Worn Wear website, which it launched last fall. REI has long maintained a 90-day return policy and sold used items at member-exclusive in-store Garage Sale events but recently followed suit and launched a dedicated website that offers the used-gear discount to all. Now, The North Face is joining the movement.
Earlier this week the California gear company launched its The North Face Renewed website, which is dedicated to selling used gear at cheaper prices. Its tagline, “Refurbished Clothing Remade to Explore,” summarizes the pilot program’s process. Items that are returned for any reason or are damaged or defective are thoroughly inspected, cleaned and repaired for sale at a discounted price.
“As we address the impacts of our products over their entire lifecycle, recommerce is an important next step in opening new markets and minimizing our impact on the planet,” says James Rogers, Director of Sustainability at The North Face. “We are furthering our sustainability goals without sacrificing durability or technical standards. Ultimately, as we work to scale Renewed, we will be proving a larger, circular model for the industry.”
The North Face Renewed is already stocked with plenty of items at extreme discounts. Here are three of our current favorites.
Fuseform Progressor Shell $420
Thermoball Jacket $117
Campshire Fleece $98
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