‘Education is key’: Outdoor apparel brand Arc’teryx Outlet grows its circularity program

As a brand that makes outdoorsy gear for people who love nature, Arc’teryx has put an emphasis on circularity and sustainability. In May, the company put all of its circularity initiatives — including resale, repairs and recycling — under one umbrella, a new program called ReBird. ReBird is a consumer-facing hub on the brand’s website where customers can learn more about circularity and buy upcycled ReBird apparel. It’s also an internal collaborative effort between all the teams at Arc’teryx to develop those efforts and products.

When 32-year-old Arc’teryx first launched its recommerce program in 2019, the team questioned how successful it would be. But with 5,000 units traded within the first six months, Arc’teryx leadership was confident there was demand for circular programs. Now, nearly six months into ReBird’s existence, Dominique Showers, Arc’teryx’s vp of recommerce, said the company is ready to expand the program. In November, Arc’teryx is opening its first dedicated repair center on Broadway in NYC’s SoHo, and next year, it will expand its resale offerings to Canada. They’re currently only available in the U.S.

“There have been a lot more people coming to us,” Showers said. “And we’re seeing more people trade-in old product in-store. We try to repair everything back to their original condition, but we’ve also started doing functional repairs, like changing out an entire panel of material using excess raw material from the manufacturing process.” 

Traded-in product that can’t be resold will still get taken by Arc’teryx, either for upcycling into ReBird products, recycling or donation.

Showers said the collaborative nature of ReBird, made up of many teams from across the company, is helpful for implementing new solutions like functional repairs. The design team makes product that’s more easily, modularly repairable, the manufacturing team saves excess materials to make those repairs, and the store teams at its more than 80 stores facilitate the repairs, all led by ReBird’s guiding vision for circularity.

Arc’teryx has always offered repairs, but with the opening of the repair center in November and the centralizing of ReBird, Showers said the brand will be ramping up its marketing around repairs and circularity through in-store messaging, social ads and promotions. It’s currently offering a trade-in credit of 30% of the retail price, rather than the standard 20%.