The sneaker resale market is notoriously one of the trickiest mazes to navigate and Nike is trying to do something about it.
The company has just unveiled a new circular consumer offering called Nike Refurbished.
Basically, Nike Refurbished is the company’s own in-house pre-owned sneaker program, which aims to extend the lifespan of various types of footwear while reducing Nike’s waste footprint. Here’s a quick breakdown of the process.
Nike Refurbished will include both gently worn shoes customers have returned as well as shoes with small cosmetic manufacturing flaws.
Once the shoes are in, Nike experts will inspect and grade each pair by hand for eligibility in the program.
Nike Refurbished will categorize eligible sneakers in three condition grade tiers that go as follows:
1. Like New – what Nike describes as items worn “a day or two before being returned.”
2. Gently Worn – those worn “a little longer.”
3. Cosmetically Flawed – footwear that may include “something like a small snag that happened in manufacturing.”
Nike experts will sanitize and refurbish each eligible pair by hand, aiming “to return shoes to as close to new condition as possible.”
“After the process is completed, the shoes will be returned to stores and sold at a reduced price “based on footwear type and condition grade.”
The program will initially roll out at the end of April 2021 in fifteen stores across the United States, participating stores listed on its site, with plans to integrate more locations in the coming year.
Nike Refurbished will include both Men’s and Women’s footwear. And for those wondering, yes, Nike Refurbished sneaks are all covered under Nike’s 60-day wear test — if it’s not what you’re looking for, it’s an easy route to return.
Nike is promoting the new program both as a way for loyal Nike fans and sneakerheads to get in on their sneakers without having to parse through the resell market or deal with price gouging, as well as a contribution to their Nike Move To Zero sustainability program, which aims for zero carbon and waste goals.
(Returned shoes not eligible for Nike Refurbished will still be recycled as part of Nike Grind.)
“Combined with additional product donation of eligible footwear, waste reduction measures across our global marketplace and responsibly recycling sneakers at end of use through Nike Grind, Nike is committed to creating a circular future,” the brand said in a statement sent to press.
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