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Stio last week announced the launch of its new circular commerce program, Second Turn. The Jackson Hole, Wyo.-based outdoor apparel company is enabling customers to trade in gently-used Stio products to be cleaned, repaired, and resold at a discounted price. People who return an item will also receive up to 25 percent of the item’s original retail value.
“We’re following in the footsteps of bigger brands like Patagonia with their Worn Wear program or emerging retailers like Gear Trade, who are building a very solid marketplace for used gear in our industry,” Noah Waterhouse, Stio president and COO, told Outside Business Journal. “Each approach is a little different, and we’re all trying to marry the supply of product with consumer demand and efficient operational support in an economically viable way. We’re definitely at the beginning of our journey and excited about circular’s potential here.”
This news comes shortly on the heels of the company’s Climate Neutral certification. In the past few years, Stio has made improvements to its supply chain, logistics, operations and packaging—all with the goal of creating a more sustainable business. This year, it hopes to reach 50 percent preferred materials in its products by using a mix of recycled synthetic fibers, organic cotton, and responsibly sourced down. The company closely monitors energy usage in its factories, avoids air-intensive freight whenever possible, and offsets the impact it can’t eliminate through a partnership with Bluesource.
“In many ways it feels like we’re at the front of the curve for small to medium-sized lifestyle brands,” said Waterhouse. “Stewardship efforts at Stio never end. We’ll continue to optimize the Second Turn program as we learn and focus on carbon footprint reductions.”
Read more: The business case for upcycled gear
An initiative like Second Turn had been on the company’s radar since 2017, but a lack of product in circulation hindered its launch. Finally, in 2020, the company hit a scale at which reselling used goods became possible. With scale came more resources and a greater market presence, clearing the way for the program’s setup. The company’s marketing team, led by VP Evan Torrance, built out the pilot in a four-month period from June to October of this year.