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04/21/2021

lululemon Piloting Recommerce Program

Jamie Grill-Goodman
Senior Editor
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The newest pilot from lululemon athletica is something old.

The athletic apparel retailer is testing its first-ever recommerce program, lululemon Like New, a trade-in and resale program that directly reinvests profits to support additional sustainability initiatives, including circular product design, renew and recycle programs, and store environmental programs.

The trade-in program will launch as a pilot in California and Texas in May and then expand into a resale program in the same markets in June.

Starting in May, lululemon customers in these states can begin to trade in gently used lululemon clothing in one of the brand’s 80-plus participating stores or by mail in exchange for a lululemon e-gift card. The online resale program will begin in June, with 100% of pilot program profits or 2% of revenue, whichever is higher, being reinvested into additional sustainability initiatives, further extending and amplifying the positive impact of lululemon Like New.

Eligible products need to be in “like new” condition. lululemon has partnered with Trove to support with resale technology and operations. All trade-in products will be cleaned using state-of-the-art technology. Gear that does not meet quality standards will be recycled through lululemon’s longstanding partnership with debrand.

Purchasing lululemon Like New products can save up to 50% of the product’s carbon footprint and 310 grams of waste, Trove calculates. Guest feedback will be collected throughout this year’s pilot to inform future scaling.

Released in Fall 2020, lululemon’s Impact Agenda marked the brand’s stake in the ground toward an equitable, sustainable future, and outlined its vision to minimize environmental impact and contribute to a better world. Developing products with sustainable materials and end-of-use solutions are central to the multi-year strategy. The retailer is also launching Earth Dye, a new limited-edition collection of products that features casual, easy-to-wear styles made with lower-impact dyes upcycled from the waste of oranges, beets, and saw palmetto trees sourced from the agricultural and herbal industries. These dyes use less water, carbon, and synthetic chemicals compared to conventional synthetic dyes, aligned with the brand’s goal to decrease its environmental footprint.

“lululemon is actively working to help create a healthier future, and we are focused on meeting the goals detailed in our Impact Agenda, including making 100 percent of our products with sustainable materials and end-of-use solutions by 2030,” said lululemon CEO Calvin McDonald. “Our lululemon Like New and Earth Dye initiatives are both meaningful steps towards a circular ecosystem and demonstrate the sustainable innovation underway in product development and retail.”