Canada Goose launches second-hand, trade-in program in Canada

‘The resale market is growing like crazy, even faster than just regular commerce’

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Your next Canada Goose coat might be on its second life by the time it gets to you.

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The Toronto-based, luxury apparel company announced Thursday that it is bringing Generations, a platform allowing consumers to shop for and trade in pre-loved pieces from the brand, to Canada.

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Pieces available for trade-in or purchase through Generations will range from the company’s popular parkas and outdoor vests to snowsuits, snow pants, trench coats and even fleece and knitwear.

The program is being launched to further Canada Goose’s commitment to sustainability but also cater to the growing number of people seeking second-hand goods, Carrie Baker, the company’s president, said.

“The resale market is growing like crazy, even faster than just regular commerce, and for us, it really taps into our target demographic,” she said.

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Baker has seen statistics suggesting 80 per cent of consumers under the age of 30 shop for pre-loved goods, but interest in purchasing second-hand items stretches beyond the youngest cohort of shoppers.

Online consignment store ThredUp predicts the global market for second-hand goods will double by 2027, reaching $350 billion. It also found the number of retailers with branded resale programs tripled between 2021 and 2022 alone.

Branded resale programs cropping up recently include one from Hudson’s Bay and baby gear startup Rebelstork and another from Canadian department store chain Simons and resellers LXRandCO and VSP Consignment.

Canada Goose is also no stranger to the circular economy _it has been making fabric and material donations to remote communities and Indigenous sewers since 2009 — but has never offered a trade-in program before.

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It moved in that direction in part because the number of searches for second-hand Canada Goose goods online grew by 50 per cent between 2021 and 2022, Baker said.

Though many Canada Goose customers hang onto their apparel for years and sometimes, decades, such numbers convinced the company that there was an opportunity to give people a chance to resell their items.

The Generations program works by allowing those wanting to trade in pieces to search Canada Goose’s catalogue using their item’s style number to get a sense of how much the company may give them in gift cards.

Trade-in customers can expect up to 60 per cent of the current retail price, Baker said.

A men’s Crofton vest in black camo was selling on the company’s website for US$650 this month. The Generations search tool showed someone hoping to trade it in could receive between $357 and $250.

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Meanwhile, a women’s PBI Expedition parka retailing for US$1,825 in July would make someone between $1,047 and $733, depending on its condition, when traded in.

Canada Goose hats, gloves, mittens, scarves, face masks, hood trims, home accessories and footwear are not eligible for the program, but Baker said the company is open to easing up on exclusions eventually.

If a customer decides to go ahead with a trade-in, Canada Goose will send them a prepaid shipping label and once the company receives the item, verify that the product is not a knock-off and then assess its condition.

Items deemed to be in excellent condition have no visible flaws and will earn customers the most credit. Canada Goose will also accept trade in’s in for items it considers in “very good,” “good” or “fair” condition, which could have varying degrees of discoloration, scuffs, pilling and even tears.

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Following the item’s review, trade-in customers will receive a Canada Goose gift card. The company will make any repairs it can to the pre-loved item and then list it on the Generations website with a reduced price.

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“It’s obviously not the same (price) as our main line site because it’s been worn,” Baker said. “We’re not going to pretend and pass it off as a brand new garment.”

When it launched Generations in the U.S. at the end of January, Baker said about 60 per cent of the trade-ins it received were parks and about 53 per cent were deemed to be in excellent condition.

Some people traded in vintage favourites, while others were looking to cash in on more recent styles.

But the 66-year-old company founded in Toronto by immigrant Sam Tick under the name Metro Sportswear Ltd. bets its home will bring out even more interesting trends.

Baker said, “I think Canada will be the treasure trove.”

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