REI, which has long built a kind of garage-sale-and-gear-swap ethos into its retail formula, is taking the next step in used clothing. The company is opening its second Re/Supply, scheduled to debut late this summer in Clackamas, Oregon.
The first Re/Supply store opened in Manhattan Beach, California, in 2020.
REI continues to offer a broad selection of used gear online, as younger consumers increasingly expect secondhand items to be on offer.
“We have a responsibility to preserve the long-term health of the planet,” says Bob Cagle, REI regional director, in the co-op’s announcement. “Our Re/Supply offering reimagines the lifecycle of outdoor products and helps keep gear where it belongs—out on trails, waterways and other natural places.”
Rival Patagonia also actively encourages people to shop its Worn Wear collection, launched in 2017. The North Face offers the North Face Renewed line. And even newcomers to the industry, like Dick’s Sporting Goods’ Public Lands concept, are buying back gently used gear as part of a larger sustainability message.
Initially slower than many to embrace the trend, athletic brands are also jumping on board, including Lululemon and Athleta.
REI was founded in 1935, and about 60 years ago, many of its stores began hosting occasional garage sales. In 2018, it helped pioneer the ecommerce element of used gear with a used-specific ecommerce site offering trade-ins. Last year, it sold more than 1 million used items.
REI currently has 23 million members and more than 180 stores around the country. Memberships cost $30 and last a lifetime.
ThredUp predicts sales of used clothing will reach $211 billion this year and $248 billion in 2024, or roughly 10% of the global apparel market.