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What Is Recommerce?

Welcome to the recommerce movement! You might be thinking, ‘Hey, whoa, I’m just here to swap some gear not join a movement.’ Well chances are you’re already participating in recommerce whether intentionally or not, by reselling or purchasing pre-owned items online. So, let’s call this more of an orientation than a formal welcome.

Geartrade has been an important part of the recommerce movement since our launch in 1999, when we pioneered the online marketplace for pre-owned, reusable, repaired and returned outdoor gear and apparel. We’ve continued to lead for the twenty years since.

Recently we sensed a need for a refresh that reflects modern times and our evolving relationship with pre-owned gear and apparel (what we call UnNew). With that refresh came this updated website—better organized, clearer in purpose and use, and honestly, just a better shopping and selling experience. As recommerce grows, we’re excited to be growing with it and welcoming in new recommerce customers who’ve come to expect an experience not unlike the traditional retail experience …minus the full retail price tag, plus a softer environmental touch (smart).

What is Recommerce?
Recommerce is a movement that challenges the concept that ‘newer is better.’ Many shoppers and sellers first experience the recommerce movement through the massive secondhand apparel market, which has been growing at an exponential rate 21-times faster than the mainstream retail apparel market over the past three years! You could say that this growth reflects a blurring of new versus used, and a willingness by modern consumers like yourself to pass on purchasing new when a comparable quality UnNew item is available.
Here at Geartrade, our recommerce niche includes reusable, refurbished, returned, repaired, repurposed, and recycled quality outdoor gear and apparel.

Why Recommerce?
For starters, recommercing (please forgive us this verb) operates outside of the wasteful and toxic annual manufacturing production cycle. The clothing and textile industry alone is the second largest polluter in the world, responsible for 10-percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. By buying recommerced goods, you bypass manufacturing.
Recommerce also keeps products out of the landfill. Consumers throw away an average of 70 pounds of clothing and shoes every year. The resale of UnNew outdoor shoes and apparel keeps these goods out of the landfill.

By participating in the recommerce market you’re participating in a model that prioritizes sustainability over consumerism. A byproduct of that is saving money—the average recommerce items sells for an average of 50-60 percent off retail. Recommerce is a solid lifehack, where buyers gain access to products from high-quality brands at lower prices. Resellers on the other hand, are able to recoup a percentage of the cost of their original purchase—it’s like a sale on the other end of your purchase.

Who is the Recommerce customer?
Well, you are. In recent years, recommerce has been fueled by younger shoppers (think Millennials and Generation Z) especially across the clothing market. The Geartrade customer, however, encompasses outdoor enthusiasts of all stripes seeking to get more out of every dollar they spend and looking to extend the life of existing gear. Our environmentally-aware adventurists and active conscientious consumers know that spending less on gear also means having more time and money to spend on experiences. A winning model on all fronts!

In summary, recommerce allows you to access UnNew products from quality brands at lower prices, while minimizing your contribution to the wasteful and toxic manufacturing process, and keeping products out of the landfill. Welcome!

Annie FastAnnie Fast writes about winter sports and outdoor adventures from her home in Bend, Oregon.You can read more about her and her work at