SEATTLE, Aug. 22, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- REI Co-op 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, and 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," 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 REI.com/used can be purchased for up to 65 percent 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," says Whitcomb.
For years, the co-op has sold lightly used product (returned under its 100 percent 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.
"As long as people are enjoying the outdoors, they'll need gear to power their adventures," says 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."
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. Learn more about REI's broader sustainability efforts at REI.com/stewardship.
Used Gear facts:
Launched Oct. 10, 2017
Purchasing a used item instead of a new one avoids the environmental impact of manufacturing a new product and thus supports a reduced environmental footprint
Most popular product: Midweight down and synthetic jackets
Most popular category: Women's apparel
More ways to find used and sustainably produced gear:
Sort and filter products by sustainability feature at REI.com, including bluesign approved, fair trade certified and organically grown.
Attend an in-person, members-only Garage Sale at an REI stores.
Shop The Renewal Workshop online or at Seattle REI. The Renewal Workshop takes discarded textiles and apparel and turns them into new garments.
Stay tuned for member-to-member used gear swaps at select REI stores later this fall. Follow REI on social media for updates.
About the REI Co-op REI is a specialty outdoor retailer, headquartered near Seattle. The nation's largest consumer co-op, REI is a growing community of more than 17 million members who expect and love the best quality gear, inspiring expert classes and trips, and outstanding customer service. REI has 152 stores in 35 states and the District of Columbia. If you can't visit a store, you can shop at REI.com, REI Outlet or the free REI shopping app. REI isn't just about gear. You can take the trip of a lifetime with REI Adventures, a global leader in active adventure travel that runs more than 170 custom-designed itineraries worldwide. The REI Outdoor School is run by professionally-trained, expert-instructors who teach beginner-to advanced-level courses about a wide range of activities. To build on the infrastructure that makes life outside possible, REI invests millions annually in hundreds of local and national nonprofits that create access to—and steward—the outdoor places that inspire us all.