Wild Ideas Worth Living: Andy Ruben


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Andy Ruben on changing the way consumerism works and saving the planet with re-commerce.

Andy Ruben has had a unique career path. He never thought he would end up in the business world, but ended up working as the Chief Sustainability Officer for Walmart. After seeing just how many products are bought and never used or thrown out, he decided to do something about it.

In 2012, he co-founded Yerdle, a company that focuses on buying back and reselling products that might otherwise end up in a landfill, a process Andy calls “re-commerce.” Companies like REI, Patagonia, and Eileen Fisher all have their own buy-back programs where they will give you credit for your old gear or clothes, and then resell those items for a fraction of the price.

Andy’s wild idea: To reduce the amount of new items we purchase every year by 25% through his company, Yerdle.

Andy is a forward-thinker with an untraditional path whose focus is to make a positive impact on our environment. While he’s aware that there’s still a need for new gear, he supports sustainable production practices. Through Yerdle, customers can get the most out of gear that already exists and keep it out of landfills.

On this episode, Andy offers unconventional ideas about how to make a difference and how you can get a job working in sustainability. We also talk about how he ended up at Walmart, how he works with companies like REI and Patagonia (and how that work affects us as customers), and what we can do overall to take better care of our planet.

Listen to this episode if:

  • You care about our environment and want to help save the planet.
  • You love awesome gear.
  • You want to have a career that makes an impact on the world.
  • You are an entrepreneur and like carving your own path in life.
  • You want to ask the right questions.

Subscribe to Wild Ideas Worth Living on Apple PodcastsSpotify or wherever you get your podcasts.

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