Lululemon Kicks Off ‘Like New’ Program, Starts Selling Used Product and Accepting ‘Gently Used’ Trade-Ins

"Toronto, Canada - May 17, 2012: Lululemon Athletica,  a yoga-inspired athletic apparel company, shop storefront in the city of toronto, canada".
Mlenny / Getty Images

With inflation at a 41-year high, lululemon may have picked the right time to launch its “Like New” resale program, one which allows customers to trade their products for credit and buy used merchandise from the retailer in exchange.

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The program (set to launch on April 22 — Earth Day — across the U.S.) will help the company lessen its carbon footprint and help restore a healthy planet, according to an announcement on the company’s website.

The company explains that customers can trade in any eligible lululemon gear and receive credit in the form of an e-gift card that can be used in stores or online. Customers can also buy used items on a separate page of the company’s website. For example, a pair of leggings originally priced at $98 now retails at $59 via the storefront.

“We’ll refresh your gently worn pieces for someone else to make active again,” the company’s announcement read.

“We’re not accepting items with visible wear (no damage, pilling, rips, or discoloration) or accessories, yoga props, intimates, collaborations, swimsuits, ivivva, and self-care products,” it added.

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Lululemon elaborated, stating that 100% of program profits — or 2% of revenue, whichever is higher — will go directly to its sustainability initiatives, including circular product design, renew and recycle programs and store environmental programs.​

The “Like New” program comes shortly after the company launched its two-state pilot “re-commerce” platform for customers in Texas and California, which started last May. That platform enabled customers to trade in gently used lululemon clothing at one of the brand’s 80+ participating stores — or by mail — in exchange for a e-gift card, according to a press release.

CNBC reports that shoppers have already been warming up to the idea of buying used clothing and other items, analysts’ estimates show. In 2015, the resale market stood at about $1 billion, based on a tracking by Jefferies. That market was estimated at $15 billion in 2021, and it is expected to more than triple to $47 billion by 2025, according to CNBC.

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“At lululemon, we’re deeply committed to creating quality products built to last and that are better for people and the planet. Bringing lululemon Like New to all U.S. guests is a major step toward a circular eco-system and achieving our Impact Agenda goals to reduce our environmental footprint,” exec Celeste Burgoyne said in an April 12 release. “We’ve seen incredible momentum from our pilot program and we look forward to welcoming new guests nationwide.”

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About the Author

Yaël Bizouati-Kennedy is a full-time financial journalist and has written for several publications, including Dow Jones, The Financial Times Group, Bloomberg and Business Insider. She also worked as a vice president/senior content writer for major NYC-based financial companies, including New York Life and MSCI. Yaël is now freelancing and most recently, she co-authored  the book “Blockchain for Medical Research: Accelerating Trust in Healthcare,” with Dr. Sean Manion. (CRC Press, April 2020) She holds two master’s degrees, including one in Journalism from New York University and one in Russian Studies from Université Toulouse-Jean Jaurès, France.
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