Following in the reduced carbon footprints of Adidas and Nike, New Balance has teamed up with The Renewal Workshop to launch a “New Balance Renewed” initiative. The partnership will help lightly used, returned, and factory flawed New Balance products to live a second life, rather than end up in a landfill.
Earlier this year, Nike launched a similar initiative dubbed “Nike Refurbished,” which takes the brand’s returned sneakers and either restores them for resale or recycles the shoes into Nike Grind materials, depending on the footwear’s condition. Both New Balance and Nike may not have been influenced by sustainability, though: The brands have figured out a way to make even more money, without spending any, by ensuring they still manage to make a profit off of products that they would otherwise have to destroy, donate, or re-use somehow. More brands may soon launch their own circularity programs in hopes of reaping the same benefits.
How it works — That being said, New Balance Renewed will still help products live a more sustainable life, regardless of their original material. Using a six-step process that generates zero waste, The Renewal Workshop takes in used New Balance garments that are sorted, graded, cleaned, repaired, inspected, and then verified to ensure they meet both TRW and NB’s quality standards. After the six steps are completed, each garment will be available for sale.
Renewal Workshop is a “leading provider of circular solutions for the apparel and textile industry,” according to a press release, and its partnership with New Balance will help the sports brand increase product longevity and develop a more circular business model.
“New Balance is constantly learning and evolving our approach to create quality, long-lasting design,” said John Stokes, New Balance’s director of global sustainability, in a press release. “Together with The Renewal Workshop, we’re keeping apparel in use for longer and learning how to design for repairability.”
More eco-friendly, less expensive — For now, consumers can explore pieces from the New Balance Renewed program online at The Renewal Workshop’s webstore. As products have been lightly modified or returned, they’re available at lower prices, making New Balance clothing and shoes more accessible — and sustainable — than ever.