The North Face Kicks Off Re­newed

The test pro­gram, which sells re­fur­bished ap­parel, is in step with VF Corp.’s plans to be more of a con­sumer-fac­ing com­pany.

WWD Digital Daily - - Real Estate Dirt - BY ROSE­MARY FEITELBERG

With the launch of The North Face’s Re­newed, Patag­o­nia now has a ri­val com­peti­tor sell­ing re­fur­bished ap­parel.

While this ini­tia­tive is a pi­lot pro­gram, The North Face, a $3.7 bil­lion jug­ger­naut, could po­ten­tially lead the charge in re­newed gar­ments. Re­gard­less of how they fare in this emerg­ing sec­tor, The North Face, a VF Corp.-owned brand, is the largest ap­parel com­pany to get on board with sell­ing re­newed ap­parel. The com­pany has joined forces with The Re­newal Work­shop, an Oregon-based op­er­a­tion that takes dis­carded ap­parel and tex­tiles and re­stores them into re­newed ap­parel, up­cy­cled ma­te­ri­als or re­cy­cled feed­stock. All of the North Face’s Re­newed items are sourced from re­turned, de­fec­tive or dam­aged ap­parel.

On­line shop­pers at TheNorthFace Re­newed site, will be clued into the fact that 85 per­cent of tex­tiles pro­duced an­nu­ally wind up in land­fills an­nu­ally, ac­cord­ing to an En­vi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion Agency-con­firmed statis­tic. To help con­sumers “shift from a tra­di­tional, lin­ear model to a cir­cu­lar one where peo­ple share, re­sell, re­pair and re­cy­cle cloth­ing,” the site sim­pli­fies how the process works. First, the gear is cleaned and in­spected by The Re­newal Work­shop. Step two: The items are re­paired, zip­pers re­placed or tears sewn up. Then The North Face does its own qual­ity eval­u­a­tion be­fore mak­ing the items avail­able for shop­pers.

James Rogers, di­rec­tor of sus­tain­abil­ity for The North Face, said, “As we ad­dress the im­pacts of our prod­ucts over their en­tire life cy­cle, re-com­merce is an im­por­tant next step in open­ing new mar­kets and min­i­miz­ing our im­pact on the planet. We are fur­ther­ing our sus­tain­abil­ity goals without sac­ri­fic­ing dura­bil­ity or tech­ni­cal stan­dards. Ul­ti­mately, as we work to scale Re­newed, we will be prov­ing a larger, cir­cu­lar model for the in­dus­try.”

As part of its plan to be more of a con­sumer-fac­ing busi­ness, VF is fo­cused on sell­ing di­rectly to con­sumers and in­vest­ing in dig­i­tal plat­forms.

Re­newed prod­ucts have a one-year war­ranty against man­u­fac­tur­ing de­fects in ma­te­rial and work­man­ship. That does not ex­tend to an unau­tho­rized dealer or seller. As of Thurs­day morn­ing, women’s op­tions in­cluded the re­fur­bished Ad­ven­turess Racer­back tank at $26, Osito 2 jacket for $64, the Freeski Techn-O hoodie pullover for $83 and the Laney Trench

II at $98. Men’s op­tions were the Tech Glacier pullover at $26, Brag­don re­versible jacket at $98 and Apex Risor hoodie at $117.

In ad­di­tion to The North Face, The Re­newal Work­shop works with an as­sort­ment of brands in­clud­ing Ibex, Prana, Ice­breaker, Pearl Izumi and Moun­tain Khakis. It col­lects data on every­thing that flows through its sys­tem, and then that in­for­ma­tion is given to brand part­ners to help them im­prove pro­duc­tion and de­sign of fu­ture prod­ucts.

Patag­o­nia, a com­pany near­ing $1 bil­lion in sales, first got into the area in 2011 through its Com­mon Threads pro­gram. That has since evolved into the Worn Wear, pro­gram that pro­motes re­pair­ing, reusing and re­cy­cling. An e-com­merce plat­form, Worn­wear.com, was launched in April 2017. The pro­gram also in­cludes tours in North Amer­ica, Europe, Chile, South Korea and Ja­pan that have reached more than 120,000 peo­ple, ac­cord­ing to a Patag­o­nia spokes­woman.

Looks from The North Face Ven­trix line.

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