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Packaging; largest Co-op in USA, let's use our muscle


I've been a member of the REI co-op for at least 7-years now. I make most of my outdoor gear purchases through the co-op. I just bought a pair of headphones today - a pretty basic $20 running headphone. When I got home and opened the package, I was so disappointed to see how heavy and excessive the packaging was. Glossy paper/cardboard, all these different plastic pulls and tabs and screens, and the headphones themselves were embedded in foam. For such a tiny product, I just don't understand why we have to have this much packaging. I understand wanting to 'show off' a product in a store, but I rather see a small poster or a re-usable display. REI is huge, and has an incredible amount of muscle in the outdoor industry! Largest co-op in the USA. Can't we request to have totally minimalist packaging? And honestly, I don't really care if this stuff is recyclable or not. I just want to buy a pair of headphones, without the trash. 

thanks for thinking about this!


1 Reply


Thanks so much for your post. Would you mind letting us know which headphones you purchased? We’d love to provide our Sustainability team with that information so they can follow up with the brand specifically. As you may or may not know, we do work closely with our brands, using our Product Sustainability Standards and Packaging Guidelines, to mitigate the environmental impact of our business. The standards provide clear expectations of our brand partners, encouraging them to integrate leading sustainability features into products and providing a platform from which REI can offer support and guidance.

One of our first advances with our own packaging sustainability was to convert all of our Co-op Brands packaging to FSC-certified, recycled-content paper, with the How2Recycle logo. We also have a major packaging effort underway, working with brands to eliminate polybags, which we haven’t used for our own Co-op Brands for years. We’ve been sharing our roll-pack method of packing our Co-op Brands apparel to assist other brands in making the switch.

Thank you, again, for alerting us to this situation and allowing us the opportunity to improve.

At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.