This company ‘renews’ non-sellable merchandise of brands and resells them
In this age of online shopping and free returns, most of us don’t bat an eyelid before ordering a piece of clothing in multiple sizes, choosing the right fit and returning the rest. But what we don’t know is where these ‘returned’ items land up. Around 30 to 50% of our ‘returned’ items never get restocked! Instead, they are sent to warehouses, eventually shredded, and thrown in landfill or incinerated.
Now The Renewal Workshop, an Oregon-based company co-founded by Jeff Denby, is striving to change this unsustainable fashion trend. The company offers solutions to clothing brands to help develop a more circular approach to garment collection.
The Renewal Workshop is a factory where brands can send their non-sellable merchandise for ‘renewal.’ Items are sorted and cleaned, problems are identified, and teams of seamstresses repair the products so they’re as good as new. The brand can then advertise its renewed clothing at a discount (usually around 30% off) and it ships directly from the Renewal Workshop’s warehouse to the buyer.
Brands may resist the idea of selling their own renewed apparel, but as Denby points out, it’s enormously beneficial for them. First, re-commerce of used merchandise is happening regardless, so it makes sense for companies to have a part in it. Second, it’s a great way to attract new clients. The car industry and Apple are both examples of thriving markets for refurbished goods.