Zero Waste Shopping: Buy Like-New Gear at REI for Cheap


I just discovered an amazing program REI has and I wanted to pass the info along.

Not my photo. Property of

Not my photo. Property of

Did you know REI sells USED GEAR, that’s practically brand new, for half the price!?

Well, don’t worry if you didn’t. I don’t have an REI near where I live so I was out of the loop, too.

Good news is: they have extended the program to an online platform. Buying online isn’t great for the environment, BUT I think it’s better to support buying used products any chance you get.

It’s the type of stuff that seems like it got slapped with a used label simply because it was taken home, unboxed, then re-boxed. If it says it's in “excellent condition” on the website, It’s practically untouched.

I recently ordered a pair of used Chaco’s from REI and I LOVE THEM.

I had been rockin’ my previous pair of Chacos for over five years. They have been everywhere with me and are now ripped, matted, and floppy-soled. Like “old-faithfuls” should be. I bought my old pair with the toe strap because I thought it was cute, buuuuuut after a few backpacking trips in them, I realized that all the amounts of cute do not add up to practical. In short, the toe strap was really uncomfortable. So, instead of getting a new pair, I made-due and just repositioned the straps so that the toe part was under my foot.

At first, the toe strap under the ball of my foot was annoying, but I learned to ignore it, and eventually they were really comfy. I knew that for my next pair, I wanted double straps, no toe strap, preferably in black.

I didn’t think they even existed. I searched, but no luck. I thought I’d have to custom design them, which I couldn’t rationalize.

The used pair I happened to come by hit all my check marks. They are a size 8, black, with double-straps, no toe constrictor, and COMFORTABLE.

I. Am. Pleased.

The pros of the REI “Used” Platform:

-It’s a more eco-friendly way to shop than buying new since it’s not producing more demand.

-It’s way more affordable.

-It’s still quality product.

-Easy to gauge what you’re getting

The cons:

-Buying online. Shipping products require a lot of energy and waste.