Retail, Outdoors and Sustainability

Are you looking to live more sustainably and learn more about what major brands are doing to protect our environment? Some of our favorite brands are leaders in the world of sustainability and are influencing consumers to do the same by their example!  

Companies of all kinds are embracing the notion of upcycling - the idea of taking something that is no longer needed or useful and repurposing it for a new function - and we are here for it. We love to see everyone from major outdoor brands like Patagonia to local startups like Birdie Blue finding a way to transform things that might be headed to a landfill and give them new life. Why upcycling? It's a powerful tool that reduces carbon emissions, saves the strain on fuel, forests, and water supplies - not to mention reducing greenhouse emissions. According to, if you filled a bag with 10 pounds of unwanted clothes and upcycled them instead of throwing them away - you will prevent up to 30 pounds of carbon dioxide gasses from polluting the atmosphere.  That’s because textiles in landfills naturally release greenhouse gasses when they decompose;. 

Some major brands are doing their part to make upcycling even easier for consumers. One of the pioneers of the upcycling revolution- including the popular online thrift store Poshmark - appeals to a wide range of demographics. An early innovator in online upcycling, Poshmark has seen major growth since its inception in 2011, boasting a 127 percent increase in vintage listings since 2022 alone! This increase in vintage listings means older pieces are given to new homes instead of being discarded or forgotten. This is an excellent reuse of some older items currently in circulation, again using an item as much as it can be used!

According to Poshmark, they have successfully reposhed 3.7 million items—meaning that someone bought an item used on Poshmark and then sold it again when they finished. This feature is excellent for reducing waste and ensuring an item gets used as much as possible! The fact that people actively shop for more sustainable brands on top of already shopping pre-owned is impressive! 

Patagonia - a U.S.-based outdoor clothing retailer - offers a trade-in program - Worn Wear, that lets you shop for and trade in used gear. With an extensive catalog of used and secondhand gear, shoppers can easily trade in used gear for store credits toward new gear. Like Patagonia, Dudley Stephens recently launched its recycling program, DS Renew, which lets shoppers earn credits for new gear by sending in their no longer functional or needed gear. We are a fan of Dudley Stephens for a few reasons - a female-founded, family-owned brand committed to sustainable retaining checks so many boxes for us - not to mention the variety of items they have to offer. 

While not a major brand like Patagonia, we love to sell small businesses doing their part to improve our planet! Outdoor enthusiasts looking to unload their damaged or no longer needed gear have a new option to upcycle through the Birdie Blue program. Participation is super easy - just register on their website to receive a prepaid shipping envelope, package up your old gear, and send it back. They will be repurposed into a fanny pack or bag, and for your efforts, you will receive a 15 percent discount code to make one of these fantastic bags your own.

Taking advantage of these recyclable programs from all brands makes clothing and gear more affordable and promotes the reuse of many items that may have been tossed in the trash.  One person’s efforts alone can save 112 pounds of textiles from rotting in a landfill. Imagine what would happen if more people embraced upcycling and repurposing clothes. Appreciating the outdoors and wearing clothes that help protect is what we love to see at Meeting Revolution! As we work on sustainable events, this just scratches the surface of why and how we can be more sustainable. Sustainable events, for example, have many moving pieces and are forward-thinking. Please check out our other blogs and contact our team with any questions. We love this topic and would happily discuss your next sustainability strategy!