by Stephen Garner
adidas x thredup

In a continuation of its ongoing mission to help end plastic waste, Adidas has introduced its “Choose to Give Back” program aimed at helping to extend the lifecycle of sports performance and lifestyle apparel and footwear. Leveraging thredUP‘s Resale-as-a-Service (RaaS) platform and expertise, the program will invite consumers to send used products from any brand back to Adidas to be reused or resold.

Initially launched within the Adidas Creators Club app to members on October 7th, the program is rolling out more widely online and in stores in early 2022. To participate, consumers can generate a Clean Out Kit prepaid shipping label through the app and use it to send apparel and accessories across any brand or category, including their used sports gear in – from its running shoes to soccer jerseys or other performance apparel. If an item is not in a condition to be resold it will go through thredUP’s select network of textile reuse partners. In exchange for sending in their old gear Creator Club members will earn rewards.

“We believe that great performance shouldn’t come at the cost of the environment,” explained Katja Schreiber, senior vice president of sustainability at Adidas. “That’s why we’re committed to establishing a circular future for sportswear, and with the Choose to Give Back program are helping people to see new possibilities to give old gear new life.”

By giving used clothes and shoes the opportunity to be reused or repurposed by someone new, Adidas hopes to create a circular product lifecycle.

“Adidas has a reputation for driving innovative, sustainable solutions globally, and thredUP is thrilled to support their latest initiative to encourage more circular habits among consumers,” said Pooja Sethi, senior vice president and general manager of RaaS at thredUP. “By enabling resale at scale with customizable solutions for leading brands and retailers, we’re keeping high-quality clothes in use longer and fighting fashion waste.”

Choose to Give Back is the latest of many sustainability initiatives from Adidas – including a low-carbon shoe collaboration with Allbirds, Stan Smith Mylo: made with mycelium, the root structure of mushrooms and Made to be Remade shoes – expanding the limits of human possibilities, including and uniting people in sport and helping to create a more sustainable world.  The brand is also working towards a goal of Carbon Neutrality across all North America facilities by 2025, including retail stores, distribution centers, and employee offices.

“The end of one thing is the beginning of the next,” added Schreiber. “This is the beginning of a more responsible future by keeping gear in play to help end plastic waste.”