by Stephen Garner

Lululemon is getting into the resale business.

The athletic brand is launching its first-ever re-commerce program, dubbed “Like New.” The trade-in program launches as a pilot in California and Texas in May, then expands into a resale program in the same markets in June.

Starting in May, guests in California and Texas can begin to trade in gently used Lululemon clothing in one of the brand’s 80+ participating stores or by mail in exchange for an e-gift card. The online resale program will begin in June, with 100 percent of profits being reinvested into additional sustainability initiatives, further extending and amplifying the positive impact of “Like New.”

Eligible products need to be in “like new” condition. Lululemon has partnered with Trove, recognized industry experts in branded re-commerce, to support resale technology and operations. All trade-in products will be cleaned using state-of-the-art technology. Gear that does not meet quality standards will be recycled through lululemon’s longstanding partnership with Debrand.

Purchasing “Like New” product, from guest favorites like Wunder Unders to ABC Pants, can save up to 50 percent of the product’s carbon footprint and 310 grams of waste. Guest feedback will be collected throughout this year’s pilot to inform future scaling.

Lululemon is also launching a new, limited-edition collection made with earth-friendly dyes next month. Aptly named the “Earth Dye” collection, the line features casual, easy-to-wear styles made with lower-impact dyes upcycled from the waste of oranges, beets, and saw palmetto trees sourced from the agricultural and herbal industries. These dyes use less water, carbon, and synthetic chemicals compared to conventional synthetic dyes, aligned with the brand’s goal to decrease its environmental footprint.

The collection marks one way Lululemon is designing its products for long-lasting performance, beauty, and sustainability. Coupled with the sustainable dye solution, the tie-dying process produces a slightly different result each time, so every print in the collection is unique. Inspiration was drawn from colors and textures found in natural landscapes, resulting in muted, earthy tones.

The new initiatives are the latest efforts from the brand under its “Be Planet” pillar, which is focused on making products that are better in every way for people and the planet.

“Lululemon is actively working to help create a healthier future, and we are focused on meeting the goals detailed in our Impact Agenda, including making 100 percent of our products with sustainable materials and end-of-use solutions by 2030,” said Calvin McDonald, CEO of Lululemon. “Our lululemon Like New and Earth Dye initiatives are both meaningful steps towards a circular ecosystem and demonstrate the sustainable innovation underway in product development and retail.”

Released in fall 2020, Lululemon’s Impact Agenda marked the brand’s stake in the ground toward an equitable, sustainable future, and outlined its vision to minimize environmental impact and contribute to a better world. Developing products with sustainable materials and end-of-use solutions are central to the multi-year strategy.