The German sportswear company introduced the Choose to Give Back program Thursday. The ThredUp-powered circularity service allows consumers to earn rewards for sending in used apparel and footwear from any brand. Though it is currently available only to Creators Club members on Adidas’ app, the company said it plans to expand the program online and in stores early next year.
The launch represents the latest in a string of sustainability-centered products and initiatives at Adidas. Earlier this year, it announced it would henceforth use its popular Stan Smith sneaker to test out and champion virgin plastic alternatives, including recycled polyester and mushroom leather. This spring, it unveiled the Futurecraft.Footprint, a low-carbon performance running shoe it developed with eco-conscious footwear brand Allbirds. Made-to-be-remade coats and sneakers are also in development, though they haven’t yet made the jump to mass production.
Adidas’ take-back launch also arrives amid a deluge of similar brand-led programs. In April, for example, its competitor Nike launched Nike Refurbished in eight stores. Since expanded to 20 U.S. locations, the program accepts used Nike sneakers and either refurbishes them for resale or turns them into the brand’s recycled Grind material.
Frequently, however, brands have chosen to partner with established resale players rather than build their own program from the ground up. Like Adidas, a number of other brands—Farfetch, Gap, Vera Bradley and Madewell among them—have turned to ThredUp’s Resale-as-a-Service platform, specifically.
“Adidas has a reputation for driving innovative, sustainable solutions globally, and ThredUp is thrilled to support their latest initiative to encourage more circular habits among consumers,” Pooja Sethi, ThredUp senior vice president and general manager of RaaS, said in a statement. “By enabling resale at scale with customizable solutions for leading brands and retailers, we’re keeping high-quality clothes in use longer and fighting fashion waste.”
To participate in Adidas’ Choose to Give Back program, Creators Club members simply fill a box or bag no bigger than 5 feet on any side with less than 30 pounds of footwear and apparel. Free shipping labels can be generated using the Adidas app. Once the package arrives and is judged for quality, Adidas will deposit credit into the members’ account.
Those who send in six or more new or like new items can receive a $40 reward. Footwear or apparel that show signs of wear will net users a $5 reward, no matter how many items they send in. Items that are not fit to be resold will go through ThredUp’s network of textile reuse partners. The program only allows Creators Club members to use the service once a month.
“The end of one thing is the beginning of the next,” Katja Schreiber, Adidas senior vice president of sustainability, said in a statement. “This is the beginning of a more responsible future by keeping gear in play to help end plastic waste.”