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First workwear brand to offer resale, Carhartt adds trade-in option to meet growing demand

Carhartt, one of America's oldest workwear brands, has started offering trade-ins by mail for its Reworked resale program. Owners of selected products — including outerwear, overalls, hoodies and pants, all produced in the past ten years — visit Carhartt's website, enter the style number listed on their garment's care tag and answer questions about its condition.

If the item meets some basic requirements, its owner can ship it to Carhartt's recommerce partner Trove (potentially in a Barilla pasta box, Marie Kondo-style). Once the package has been received, the customer is issued a digital gift card. For a classic bib overall with a bit of fading but no holes or missing buttons, for example, Carhartt offers a USD 20 gift card.

While the mail-in option was just launched, Carhartt introduced Reworked in March 2023 — the first program of its kind for workwear. In less than 12 months, resales extended the life of over 43,000 garments. Enabling convenient shipping alongside store drop-offs will undoubtedly boost Carhartt's supply of preloved items, allowing the brand to respond to strong consumer demand.

Trend Bite

Resale is becoming an integral part of retail — a sweet spot where sustainability and economics converge. For customers trading in their used Carhartt gear, Reworked is an opportunity to recoup part of their initial investment. For second-hand shoppers, it's a way to acquire rugged workwear at a lower price point and reduced environmental cost. Since many of Carhartt's styles and fabrics have been offered for years, buyers are more likely to be familiar with a product's fit and feel, making for a confident preloved purchase.

Carhartt stands to benefit, too. According to its partner Trove, brands using the recommerce platform see 31% of trade-in gift cards redeemed the day they're issued, driving immediate revenue. Additionally, branded resale serves as an acquisition channel, with 50-65% of customers being new to the brand. Notably, second-hand shoppers' cart sizes average twice that of primary purchasers.

If you've been on the fence about offering resale for your brand, time to roll up those sleeves and take action?