Lululemon is the latest brand to enter the secondhand sustainability movement, launching a new resale effort called Like New.
The athleisure giant introduced the new recommerce program and a limited-edition collection called Earth Dye as part of its Be Planet sustainability program.
Like New is starting as a test for trade-ins next month in California and Texas, and is scheduled to expand into resale in June. It allows customers to trade gently used Lululemon items at a participating store or by mail. They then get an e-gift card. And once the resale portion kicks in, the company says it intends to reinvest 100% of the profits into more sustainability programs.
Lululemon’s announcement comes as young consumers are growing more and more passionate about buying secondhand clothes to blunt the harmful impact apparel manufacturing has on the planet.
The latest teen research from Piper Sandler finds that 47% of teens say they’ve purchased secondhand goods in the last six months, and 55% say they have sold them. The interest has propelled thrift and consignment stores jumping up to No. 10 as a favorite retailer, from No. 23 in the spring survey.
And it's increasingly become a trend for leading brands to convince consumers they are serious about their efforts to do better. Retailers like Macy’s and the Gap partner with ThredUp, and even Nordstrom has briefly flirted with resale. And last October, Levi’s began using gift cards to buy back their old jeans and jackets.
The Earth Dye collection is made with lower-impact dyes, which are upcycled oranges, beets and saw palmetto tree waste.
Based in Vancouver, British Columbia, Lululemon says both Earth Dye and Like New will help further its goals of reaching 100% of sustainable materials and end-of-use solutions by 2030.
Meanwhile, the company’s sales continue to benefit from the pandemic push toward more casual clothes and a focus on wellness. In its most recent quarterly results, net revenue gained 24% to $1.7 billion, with a comparable sales gain of 21%. And direct-to-consumer revenue jumped 94%.