- As part of its efforts to curb plastic waste, Adidas on Thursday announced a "Choose to Give Back" reuse program for products, including sports performance and lifestyle apparel and footwear using ThredUp's resale-as-a-service platform.
- Through its Creator's Club app, Adidas will accept used products from any brand, which will either be reused or resold, according to a company press release. The program was launched in the app Thursday, but will roll out more widely online and in stores in early 2022.
- To send in used clothes, customers can request a Clean Out Kit prepaid shipping label in the app and use it to mail back their apparel and accessories from "any brand or category." Members will earn rewards with Adidas for using the program and items that can't be resold will be reused by ThredUp's network of partners.
Resale and reuse programs are having a moment in retail, and increasingly, ThredUp has been at the center of them.
In 2019, the resale platform partnered with both J.C. Penney and Macy's to sell its secondhand clothing in stores. The following year, ThredUp made deals with Walmart and Gap. This year has been even more momentous for the resale platform, with the company filing for an IPO in March and acquiring European resale company Remix in July. Its resale-as-a-service program has also brought in a plethora of retail clients in 2021, from Farfetch and Fabletics to Madewell and now Adidas. The company is also testing a secondhand store with Madewell in Brooklyn, New York.
For Adidas, the partnership is just one point in a string of sustainability efforts that include creating shoes from a mushroom-based material called Mylo, making products out of recycled plastic from oceans and a partnership with Allbirds to create low-carbon shoes. By 2025, Adidas is planning to be a carbon neutral brand across all of its North American facilities, including stores, distribution centers and offices.
"We believe that great performance shouldn't come at the cost of the environment," Katja Schreiber, senior vice president of sustainability at Adidas, said in a statement. "That's why we're committed to establishing a circular future for sportswear, and with the Choose to Give Back program are helping people to see new possibilities to give old gear new life."
While reuse and resale programs have cropped up across categories in retail, the athletics space as a whole has several adopters this year alone. Lululemon in April announced it would resell "like new" products through its first recommerce program, which came shortly after Nike launched a refurbishment program for footwear. Timberland over the summer debuted its own refurbishment program to resell or upcycle used products. However, the Adidas program is unique in accepting apparel from any brand or category, rather than limiting the service to its own products.