We seek to provide our members with great gear that stands the test of time. Maximizing a product's lifespan is one of the best ways to reduce its environmental impact. With innovative business models, we make high-quality gear available at lower price points so that everyone can have a transformative outdoor experience, regardless of economic status.
Maximizing the life of a product is one of the best ways to reduce environmental impact. It can also help get more people outdoors by reducing financial costs. That's a win-win-win in our book.
Most traditional businesses that create and sell products use linear supply chain models that take, make, use and dispose of materials. The "circular economy" is a model that disrupts that process by extending the life cycle of products, increasing efficiency in how we use finite resources – such as petroleum-based materials – and promoting the recycling of products at the end of their life.
This way of doing business has far-reaching implications that are beginning to influence the outdoor industry. By investing in a circular economy, we can help reduce waste and increase efficiency in how we use our planet’s resources. That’s why REI is using this model to rethink its offerings and prioritize quality gear that can be used again and again.
The co-op provides several services to extend the life of our products. Some of these are long-running programs that are core to our role as a co-op. Others are relatively new services that we are focused on growing.
Garage Sales, Member Buy-back and Used Gear Online
Outdoor gear can be expensive, and sometimes what you buy might not work out as you had hoped. Through our satisfaction guarantee, we take that product back and resell it via our famous Garage Sales, or online through our used gear site. In 2019, REI sold nearly 1 million used items, and began piloting a member buyback program, where REI members can sell their lightly used outdoor gear back to the co-op.
By combining these different re-commerce offerings, we are creating a marketplace for handpicked and inspected used outdoor gear and apparel. This ensures that lightly used outdoor gear stays out of landfills and continues to deliver value to our members.
Our gear rentals in select stores give members and customers an affordable way to try out a new activity or use a pay-as-you-play model whenever they get the urge to go outside. In 2019, we expanded our offerings to include everything from snowshoes and cross-country skis to fully equipped camping and backpacking kits. We also rolled out seasonal ski rentals for REI members in select markets. By expanding our rental offerings, we give people an affordable way to try out gear while minimizing financial cost and environmental impact.
Expert Advice Articles and Videos
REI is the leading source for expert outdoor knowledge you can trust. We strive to provide information to learn new skills, choose great gear, prep for your trips and have amazing adventures. We have expanded on our extensive library of gear care and repair guidance to help maximize the lifetime of our high-quality products and minimize environmental impacts. We now have over 60 articles and videos covering everything from repairing a tent to replacing your bike chainrings.
Shop Services & Product Repairs
For some product repairs, it’s better to have an expert fix it than try to do it yourself. REI offers in-house maintenance and repair services for skis, snowboards and bikes. We’ve also partnered with several third-party organizations to provide high-quality repair services for common product categories, including apparel and fabrics, footwear and tent poles. Customers can find more information about how to get products repaired here.