Piloting ‘buyback’ service for unwanted clothing

In 2018, John Lewis & Partners piloted an industry-leading fashion buy-back service designed to reduce clothing landfill waste and encourage customers to invest in quality products. Developed in collaboration with the social enterprise Stuffstr, we offered to buy back and collect our customers unwanted clothing, bought from John Lewis & Partners. Customers were paid immediately for each item regardless of its condition.

The service linked to data on what the customers bought from John Lewis & Partners over the past five years and provided a current market price for each item. Once a customer had a minimum of £50 worth of clothing to sell a courier would collect the products within as little as three hours. As soon as the products were collected, the customer was emailed a John Lewis & Partners e-gift card for the value of the items they sold. Items bought back were then either resold, mended or recycled.

Of the 133 customers who were invited to participate, 83% reported that they would shop more at John Lewis & Partners if the buy-back service was offered. Our long-term aim is to encourage customers to buy better, high-quality items which will lengthen the life cycle of the products we sell by ensuring customers will be able to receive a reward at the end of the purchase.