Is Lululemon’s New Resale Program A Sign Of A More Sustainable Future?

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VANCOUVER, Canada — Lululemon has announced it’s testing a resale program called Lululemon Like New, as it continues to make strides towards becoming a more sustainable business.

According to the Canadian company, its customers will be able to trade in like-new Lululemon products from May and receive a $5 to $25 gift card in return. The brand will then clean and resell the used garments in around 80 stores in Texas and California, as part of a pilot scheme.

Depending on customer feedback, the fitness apparel maker hopes to scale the program to further US states and stores.

In a statement, Lululemon said it plans to invest the profits from the resale program into “additional sustainability initiatives, including circular product design, renew and recycle programs and store environmental programs.”

Having recently released an Impact Agenda, which outlined 12 commitments to address a range of global issues including diversity, inclusion, mental wellbeing, circularity and climate change. And pledged to make 100% of its products from sustainable materials and end-of-use solutions by 2030, Lululemon Like New appears to be just one of the ways the company is actively working towards creating a healthier future.

Read More: Impact Agenda: Lululemon Pledges $75m For Wellbeing Programmes

However, the move is also reflective of a wider market shift.

A sign of times to come?
Like Lululemon, a host of other brands have also started to experiment with different resale or upcycling solutions. Nike announced a program of its own earlier this year known as Nike Refurbished, in which it said it would take back shoes that are “like-new, gently worn and Refurbished, in which it said it would take back shoes that are “like-new, gently worn and slightly imperfect” to fix up and sell at a discounted price.

Read More: How Driving Positive Change Can Help Wellness Brands Stay On-Trend

Thanks to growing demand and a rise in engagement, the resale market grew 25 times faster than the wider retail market last year and it’s set to rise to $64 billion in the next five years. Online secondhand platforms like Thredup and Poshmark, meanwhile, are now valued at over a billion dollars respectively, and with 90% of UK consumers saying they would be willing to purchase a product clearly labelled as ‘upcycled’ or ‘100% recyclable, brands are starting to recognise that it makes more sense to steer the ship rather than get swept away by the current.

By taking the lead, Lululemon has the opportunity to address shoppers’ sustainability concerns whilst generating additional profits in the process.

And as consumers continue to change their purchasing preferences based on environmental impact, it’s a strategy that could eventually determine whether or not it thrives in the future landscape.

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