Oct 19, 2021
by Sidney Pacampara
adidas and thredUP Partner for “Choose To Give Back” Donation Program
by Sidney Pacampara
Oct 19, 2021

Global sportswear giant adidas has launched a new “Choose to Give Back” donation program powered by thredUP’s proprietary Resale-as-a-Service (RaaS) platform. The program allows customers to send used product from any brand back to adidas through a seamless process currently housed in its Creators Club app. Products will either be reused or resold depending on the item’s condition, and in exchange, Creator Club members will earn rewards such as membership points and even vouchers to be used for future purchases.

The Three Stripes is a on a mission to end plastic waste, and initiatives that extend the life of product like “Choose to Give Back” is another way the brand is encouraging people to join in its sustainability efforts while evaluating their own consumer behavior. As the brand notes in a press release, an estimated 36 billion clothing items are thrown away in the US each year, 95% of which could have been reused.

“We believe that great performance shouldn’t come at the cost of the environment. That’s why we’re committed to establishing a circular future for sportswear, and with the Choose to Give Back program, we are helping people to see new possibilities to give old gear new life,” said adidas SVP of Sustainability Katja Schreiber.


The new give-back program is a five-step process that starts with customers gathering their unwanted items –running shoes, soccer jerseys, or any other performance apparel – and starting a closet cleanout in the adidas Creator’s Club app. A Clean Out Kit prepaid shipping label, which is free with USPS or FedEx, is generated to pack the items. The brand emphasizes any participant to reuse past shipment boxes or even a shoe box. A quality check is performed to sort the items and assess if they will be resold, donated, or go through thredUP’s select network of textile reuse partners.

New or like new items with no damage or signs of wear will be resold. Gently used items with minor signs of wear like light fading, stains, or holes smaller than the tip of a pen will either be resold or reused. Any pieces that are damaged with rips, stains, alterations, piling, shrinkage, or missing size tags will be reused.

Each donation will result in 200 member points; however, only the highest quality item sent will designate the voucher amount participants are rewarded. For example, if you provide one new item and seven used items, you’ll only be credited for the new item. The adidas Choose to Give Back program breaks down the reward levels as:

  • New or Like New: 1-5 items = $20 USD total, 6+ items = $40 USD total
  • Gently Used: 1-5 items = $10 USD total, 6+ items = $15 USD total
  • Signs of Wear: no matter how many items = $5 USD

This type of incentivizing for donations is not a new practice for brands and retailers. Choose to Give Back partner thredUP has also worked with other companies such as Farfetch to develop a similar program allowing customers to donate pre-owned clothes and footwear in exchange for both charitable donations and Farfetch credit. Working with thredUP has helped adidas develop a simplified program that removes the many variances of traditional donation bins, which can be difficult to know what can and can’t be accepted as the guidelines vary from city to city and bin to bin.

adidas has a reputation for driving, innovative, sustainable solutions globally, and thredUP is thrilled to support their latest initiative to encourage more circular habits among consumers,” said thredUP Senior VP and GM of Resale-as-as-Service (RaaS) Pooja Sethi. “By enabling resale at scale with customizable solutions for leading brands and retailers, we’re keeping high-quality clothes in use longer and fighting fashion waste.”

Although the program is currently only available through the adidas app, expect a wider roll out online and in stores early 2022. “The end of the one thing is the beginning of the next. This is the beginning of a more responsible future by keeping gear in play to help end plastic waste.”

In other adidas news, the brand released its latest 100% recyclable “Made To Be Remade” shoe with the Terrex Free Hiker MTBR.