Allbirds has launched a brand new program that gives gently worn shoes a second home. The brand has started the ReRun integrated resale platform as part of its goal to halve its production carbon emissions. The platform has been launched in collaboration with Trove, which will be handling the refurbishing and white label service of the pieces before the re-selling.
If you have an old pair of Allbird trainers lying around, you can bring them into the store and exchange them for a $20 USD credit at the Los Angeles, Chicago and New York City locations. The sneakers will be cleaned and cared for by Trove before being brought back looking as good as new, ready to find a new home. The secondhand shoes can be purchased at a discount price at around two-thirds of the original price tag.
“Since its founding, Allbirds has been a global leader in end-to-end sustainability that is raising the bar for the entire retail industry,” said Andy Ruben, CEO of Trove. “The company has set a goal of doubling the lifetime of its footwear products and we could not be prouder to partner with Allbirds to power ReRun as the company moves another step forward toward fully circular operations.”
While for now the program only takes in shoes, the brand is considering expanding to other categories in the future, given that it is first and foremost a footwear brand, and have only recently started expanding into lifestyle.
The new program joins forces with the Allbirds’ Flight Plan, a series of sustainability commitments, among which is halving the brand’s per-product carbon footprint by 2025 and cutting it down to close to zero by the end of 2030. This new partnership with Trove allows Allbirds to prolong the life of its products, which is an essential element within the brand’s sustainability strategy. The brand has already become a 100% carbon neutral business through the use of third-party verified carbon offsets.
The custom of using and buying secondhand clothing has been steadily rising over the past couple of years, but for many people, the idea of buying a pair of shoes secondhand is still a hard concept to wrap their heads around. To tackle this issue, Allbird’s has set strict condition guidelines for those returning their shoes to adhere to, which should help reassure consumers with their concerns. The specifications will include a more than ten-point long inspection guide, along with spot-cleaning the returned shoes and in-store authentication.
But even these measures can’t guarantee that people will take part in the program. For the guaranteed longevity of the system, it’s necessary that customers participate in the pilot.
“What is the point of a resale programme if customers don’t buy into it? Our approach is to start small and keep expanding to more retail stores and eventually collecting shoes through e-commerce,” explains Kajimura, to Vogue Business.