- The North Face announced that it has debuted 20 circular design styles, joining other brands that have launched recommerce initiatives, according to a press release shared with Retail Dive. The clothing has been designed with single-fiber construction and trim that will make them easier to disassemble and recycle into new garments of similar quality. The new items will include styles for adults, plus size, youth and accessories.
- The brand said it will re-launch its take-back program under the name Renewed later this month. Shoppers will be able to drop off their circular design products and other items in Renewed Take-Back bins at The North Face stores, the company said.
- XPLR Pass members can receive $10 credits in exchange for the gear they return. The company said it launched the collection in stores, within its wholesale partners and online on Thursday.
The North Face launched its Renewed Design Residency in February 2020 and has since trained designers to follow the principles of circular design - a concept that encourages sharing, reusing and recycling products - the company said. It also noted that it makes 80% of its synthetic fabrics for clothing, accessories and equipment with recycled content as of this fall.
As part of the Renewed program, the company will sort products to be recycled, inspect the gear for any problems, clean them and repair any damage to meet its quality standards, according to its website.
“When we launched the Renewed Design Residency, our goal was to rethink the way we designed to embed principles of circularity from the start,” Kellen Hennessy, The North Face circular design manager, said in a statement. “We’re excited to introduce our first circularly-designed products which puts these principles into action, minimizing waste and enabling cycle-ability at the end of the garment life cycle.”
The North Face has been recycling garments for the past few years as part of its sustainability ambitions. In 2018, the company piloted “The North Face Renewed” collection online. In April, the brand teamed up with Online Ceramics to launch a collection inspired by ’70s California climb culture, a collection made with scraps from its factories.
Meanwhile, other activewear brands have recently launched programs to collect used items. In June 2021, Timberland teamed up with ReCircled to unveil its own recommerce program. Lululemon also expanded its recommerce program earlier this year to all its stores across the country.
Shoe brands have also been experimenting with new materials and resale initiatives. In April 2021, Nike introduced its Nike refurbished program, which refurbishes lightly worn footwear and resells them at a discount. Last month, the iconic shoe brand unveiled Forward, a new material that the brand has made by altering how it uses its punch-needle machines. In February, Allbirds debuted its resale platform dubbed Allbirds Rerun, which gives customers a $20 credit in exchange for their used Allbirds shoes.