Arc’teryx, a technical apparel and equipment manufacturer, has launched a program called Rock Solid Used Gear intended to underline its ongoing commitment to sustainability.
Rock Solid was the original name of the North Vancouver, Canada-based brand when it was founded more than 30 years ago. The name is being brought back to describe a repurposing initiative. Under the terms of the program, Arc’teryx will buy back used gear that is in good condition, clean and repair it and resell it at a lower cost. This allows customers to buy technical gear for less money upfront while also minimizing the brand’s environmental footprint.
“At Arc’teryx, we are more than designers — we are agents for change, leaning into hard problems and applying a process and ethos that creates possibility,” said Jon Hoerauf, general manager and president. “We are framing sustainability as a design problem. Strictly focusing on building leading gear is no longer an option for us — we must apply the same design ethos to solving problems of broader social and environmental relevance. Great gear should be able to last through multiple users, and Rock Solid Used Gear is our solution.”
In the U.S., customers can bring their used Arc’teryx pieces to one of the company’s stores or mail them in. They will be evaluated and pieces that are deemed lightly worn or in excellent condition, with the inner label still attached, will be eligible to receive a gift card of 20 percent of the product’s original retail price. Any items that cannot be resold, but are still functional, will be donated to organizations with outdoor programs that need gear. The brand is also looking into upcycling items that cannot be resold.
“Our company’s origins are in innovative design thinking to solve industry challenges,” said Drummond Lawson, Arc’teryx’s director of sustainability. “We apply this same mentality to environmental problems. Our products are built to last but, to keep them in service as long as feasible, we realized that our business models also needed innovation. Rock Solid Used Gear is the result — a platform that gets more users into great gear — and helps lower the footprint of our company by spreading the impact of producing our gear over many more days of use.”
While different in various aspects, Arc’teryx is the latest outdoor gear company to recycle used gear, joining the likes of Patagonia and REI, which both have programs where gently worn apparel or equipment can be returned to them and then resold.