Normally when you return a broken or faulty garment to a brand or retailer, it is much easier for them to just give you a new one rather than to fix it. This returned gear piles up in a warehouse somewhere, and eventually makes its way to the landfill. Seeing that 12.7 million tons of textiles end up in the landfill every year, outdoor industry vets Jeff Denby and Nicole Bassett thought there had to be a better solution.
Enter The Renewal Workshop–officially launched at Outdoor PressCamp this week. Brands and retailers sell their returned or faulty apparel to the company where it is sorted, cleaned using a waterless technology, and repaired in their factory in Cascade Locks, Oregon. It is then either upcycled/recycled or resold to retail and brand partners to sell as renewed apparel.
The Renewal Workshop offers a zero landfill guarantee. For repairs, all the trims, labels, and zippers are Bluesign approved. For all those products that can’t be repaired, the material is reused to create something else. Maybe a jacket is reshaped into a tote bag for example. Only when that piece of apparel is truly finished does it need to find its final resting place — and the company believes that should either be composting or recycling.
The Renewal Workshop is launching with 5 brand partners–Ibex, Indigenous, Toad & Co, Prana, and Mountain Khakis. Nicole gave me a super cute renewed Prana sweater to try–hard to imagine it was destined for the landfill.
For those of us that might be looking to reduce our consumer footprint, The Renewal Workshop will soon launch an online marketplace where you can go and buy renewed apparel. Sales should start sometime this fall.
The company hopes to continue to sign on new outdoor brand partners and help give them a better answer to, “Where does it go?”