Sustainable and inexpensive pre-loved gear for patrons 24/7
Editor’s Notice: At present, REI’s Divisional Vice President of Sustainability Vik Sahney wrote to employees in regards to the new REI Co-op Used Gear Beta.
All workers on the co-op share a ardour for being outdoor and serving to our members discover the perfect merchandise and information to gasoline their pursuits. We’re a part of a neighborhood dedicated to bettering entry to the outside, stewarding the locations the place we play, and supporting happier and more healthy lives.
As part of this pursuit, right now we launched the REI Co-op Used Gear Beta. It’s a brand new on-line program providing co-op clients a extra sustainable and inexpensive option to buy pre-loved out of doors gear and attire that clients have returned.
I’m lucky that my position on the co-op is 100% targeted on answering the query, “What needs to be higher on the earth as REI grows and thrives?” Imagining new companies we are able to carry to our members to assist them get exterior in additional sustainable methods is what the Used Gear Beta is all about.
Fairly often, thanks partially to our 100% Satisfaction Guarantee (on new merchandise), we find yourself taking again product that’s solely frivolously used. For years, we’ve offered this returned gear via our in-store Storage Gross sales, that are well-known amongst REI Co-op members and draw big traces.
The problem with in-store Storage Gross sales, nonetheless, is that the choice at any single sale is essentially decided by what was returned to that particular retailer. For a corporation like REI, which has been a frontrunner in on-line retailing, this limitation is difficult for 2 causes:
- We wish to ship nice gear at nice worth to our clients, wherever they reside
- Too many merchandise at Storage Gross sales by no means get offered for causes we are able to simply repair with the correct digital answer
Regardless of REI’s progress in retailer depend, members typically reside removed from a bodily retailer however are at all times linked to REI.com. These tendencies have resulted in stranded product—frivolously used, area of interest objects up for grabs in a Storage Sale occasion—however no clients in that market. For instance, take a frivolously used dimension 13 waterfall mountaineering boot. The viewers could be very slim.
Used Gear Beta has the potential to assist us perceive if, with our scale, we are able to discover new properties for pre-loved gear and attire that may in any other case go to waste. We’re getting nice merchandise to extra folks. For a lifelong outdoorsperson, that could be very thrilling. The REI Co-op story began with gear, so placing used gear again to make use of via a mannequin like it will assist us accomplish a number of vital issues. First, connecting preloved gear to new homeowners retains that gear out of landfills. Second, we are able to provide the gear at a reduction as a result of it had a earlier proprietor, which lowers the associated fee barrier to entry for somebody who desires to check out a brand new out of doors exercise. Third, as a result of we work throughout 1,400 completely different manufacturers, we could be a platform for not only a single model’s items.
Used Gear Beta builds upon REI’s rock-solid basis of sustainability management. For instance, the co-op is 100% renewably powered—together with our 150 shops, distribution facilities and headquarters—via photo voltaic, renewable vitality contracts and tariffs, and renewable vitality credit and was named an EPA Inexperienced Energy Management Awardee. We opened our newest distribution center as a net-zero vitality constructing—it produces as a lot vitality because it consumes yearly. Not solely is it the primary net-zero LEED Platinum distribution middle within the U.S., it additionally makes use of a minimal quantity of water and restores water to the Phoenix watershed far past its consumption via a partnership with modern non-profit companions.
On the product aspect of the Co-op, we co-founded the Sustainable Apparel Coalition to create constant sustainability measures that a whole bunch of firms within the out of doors trade and past now use to design and manufacture extra sustainable gear and attire. This work, encapsulated within the Higg Index, is guiding how REI reduces the environmental footprint of the merchandise we carry to our members.
There are scores of different examples of sustainability improvements that began right here on the co-op and have influenced commonplace practices, not simply right here within the out of doors enterprise however farther afield. With Used Gear Beta, we’re persevering with to construct upon REI’s basis.
The initiative is beginning with a small, considerate program that we consider will resonate. We’ll proceed if we predict that is one thing that can actually make a distinction in our members’ lives, and if it’ll considerably additional the work we’ve been doing for many years to drive sustainability at scale.