The North Face launches clothing with a circular design


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Diving Brief:

  • The North Face has announced that it has launched 20 circular design styles, joining other brands that have launched re-commerce initiatives, according to a press release shared with Retail Dive. The garments have been designed with unique fiber construction and fillings which will make them easier to dismantle and recycle into new garments of similar quality. New items will include adult, plus size, youth and accessory styles.
  • The brand has announced that it will relaunch its take-back program as Renewed later this month. Shoppers will be able to drop off their circular design products and other items in refreshed collection bins at The North Face stores, the company said.
  • XPLR Pass members can receive $10 credits in exchange for gear they return. The company said it launched the collection in stores, at its wholesale partners and online on Thursday.

Overview of the dive:

The North Face launched its Renewed Design Residency in February 2020 and has since trained designers to follow the principles of circular design – a concept that encourages the sharing, reuse and recycling of products – the company said. It also noted that it is making 80% of its synthetic fabrics for apparel, accessories and gear with recycled content starting this fall.

Under the Renewed program, the company will sort products for recycling, inspect equipment for any issues, clean it and repair any damage to meet its quality standards, according to its website.

“When we launched the Renewed Design Residency, our goal was to rethink the way we designed to incorporate the principles of circularity from the start,” said Kellen Hennessy, circular design lead for The North Face, in a statement. . “We are excited to introduce our first circular design products that put these principles into action, minimizing waste and enabling cycle capability at the end of the garment’s life cycle.”

The North Face has been recycling clothing for a few years as part of its sustainability ambitions. In 2018, the company piloted “The North Face Renewed” collection online. In April, the brand partnered with Online Ceramics to launch a collection inspired by 70s Californian culture, a collection made with falls from its factories.

Meanwhile, other activewear brands have recently launched used-goods collection programs. In June 2021, Timberland teams up with ReCircled to unveil its own recommerce program. Lululemon too expanded its recommerce program earlier this year in all of its stores across the country.

Footwear brands have also been experimenting with new materials and resale initiatives. In April 2021, Nike presented its refurbished program Nike, which refurbishes slightly worn shoes and resells them at a discount. Last month, the iconic shoe brand unveiled before, a new material that the brand has made by modifying the use of its punching machines. In February, Allbirds launched its resale platform called Allbirds Rerunwhich offers customers a $20 credit in exchange for their used Allbirds shoes.


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