Nike will begin reselling returned sneakers at a discount price at some of its locations in an effort to reduce waste.
The shoe and athletic wear brand announced the initiative Monday where it will accept returned shoes that have been gently worn or contain a manufacturing flaw. Nike will clean and sanitize the shoes, then resell them in select stores at a reduced price.
Nike is currently reselling returned and refurbished shoes at eight of its locations in the U.S. and plans to ramp up to 15 locations by the end of April. Sustainability and waste management are becoming more important by the day and the fashion industry is one of the biggest polluters on the planet.
As a result, some top clothing brands have made commitments to change their operations. Nike is pushing for a 70% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2025. Adidas and Allbirds are joining forces to create the world’s most sustainable shoe.
For a pair of shoes to be eligible to be refurbished, they must be returned within 60 days of purchase. Once they’re deemed fit to be resold, the shoes are sent to one of the participating Nike stores and are inspected to determine the resale price.
The shoes will be displayed in a special section in participating stores. According to the company, refurbished shoes that will be resold include the VaporMax, Air Max, and React brands. Kids’ footwear will also be added later this summer. Shoes that can’t be refurbished will either be donated to charity or will be converted into recycling material.
Nike has been a leader in the athletic shoe industry since the mid-1980s and has some of the world’s most notable athletes under its umbrella including LeBron James, Michael Jordan, Serena and Venus Williams, Carmelo Anthony, and any others.
Last year, the shoe brand made a commitment to addressing systemic racism and has supported former quarterback Colin Kaepernick.