Resale is on the rise. As adventure enthusiasts look to save cash and practice sustainability, more people are turning to used and upcycled (new products made from the byproducts of old ones) gear. It’s hard to deny the benefit: Buying used gear eliminates discarded items from landfills and waterways, but it also reduces the accumulative waste that’s created in one product’s lifespan from prototyping and manufacturing to shipping and packaging. Beyond that, the price tag is often lower.
The demand for these kinds of products is only growing: The secondhand market has grown 21 times faster than new retail apparel in the past three years across the country. What’s more, it’s forecasted to double in growth—to a $51 billion market value—by 2024, according to the 2019 Thredup Resale Report, with research supported by GlobalData, a third-party retail analytics firm. And not surprisingly, retailers in Colorado are leading the charge. Patagonia made headlines this month when it announced a worn-wear pop-up shop in Boulder, but they aren’t alone.
In Denver, there are a handful of small and large shops where you can find environmentally friendly outdoor products—whether you’re shopping for yourself or looking for a gift for someone special. Here are seven worn-wear stores to check out around the Mile High City.
Patagonia’s Worn Wear Pop-up
Patagonia’s recently launched pop-up shop on Boulder’s Pearl Street is solely stocked with the brand’s used products that have been returned by customers. The lineup also features a collection called ReCrafted, a handful of products made from other clothes that are past repair or reuse. Beyond the goods, the pop-up shop hosts repair and upcycle workshops, and will be open until February 2020. 1212 Pearl St., Boulder, 720-479-2387
Bring used, like-new items to Feral in Denver for on-the-spot cash or an in-store gift card in return. Better yet, the gift card includes a 50 percent bonus on top of the deemed value of the goods. Tents, headlamps, and sleeping bags, among other gear, are accepted, whereas some categories are off limits, including consumables, undergarments, and avalanche safety equipment. 3936 Tennyson St., 303-903-8584
Outdoors Geek offers camping and backpacking gear rentals that are shipped nationwide. Then, that gently-used rental gear is eventually sold at a steep discount. Shoppers can rent-then-buy or bypass rentals and go straight to the sales rack. 4431 Glencoe St., 303-699-6944
REI Denver Flagship
REI Co-op’s Denver Flagship hosts an annual members-only Garage Sale with price-cuts on pre-used gear that’s been returned (next up: December 28–29). Also, to help extend a product’s life in general, REI produces online guides with do-it-yourself repair and cleaning tips for gear, like tents and backpacks. For certain fix-ups like re-lofting or alterations, they can also recommend other professionals or in-house REI master technicians. 1416 Platte St., 303-756-3100
The Outdoorsman’s Attic
This family-owned shop prides itself on well-priced and top-quality consignments for any of your outdoor adventures. From packs to boats and even bait and firearms, you are likely to find what you’re looking for (and even some things you’re not) at this local store. 2650 W. Hampden Ave., Sheridan, 303-781-3626
Wilderness Exchange opened its doors nearly two decades ago with a mission to deliver “top-performing gear at bottom dollar.” The store purchases new, discounted gear from pools of overstocked merchandise, close-out product, cosmetic seconds (products with topical errors that don’t hinder performance), and product samples, which is all sold at a big price dip (one caveat: Samples aren’t covered under manufacturer warranty). Wilderness Exchange also boasts a season-based consignment program: Anyone can sell their own high-quality, operable gear for either store credit or 60 percent of the agreed price. Consigned gear that doesn’t sell within eight weeks is donated—a win-win for shoppers, the store, and the environment. 2401 15th St., 866-964-0708
This shop pioneered sporting equipment consignment close to four decades ago. Wash or clean your used stuff, drop it off at Sports Plus, have it sold, and keep 50 percent of the determined price. In demand now: alpine, Nordic, and cross-country skis, ski boots, snowboards, and other winter goods. 1055 S. Gaylord St., 303-777-6613