The Rise of Repair: Where to buy (good as new) used clothes online | Annie Clementine

Annie Clementine
3 min readMay 16, 2022


Today, we’re taking a closer look into the ‘Repair’ principle of circular design. For those of you who are just joining our circular journey, the ten principles have been created by the work of the City of Amsterdam, as part of their Circular City Strategy. We are taking a deeper look into circular design from the lens of the consumer, choosing to challenge the traditional linear model, and view waste as a resource.

Repair: Repair defective products so that the original function can be preserved.

Off the top of your head, can you think about a time where you accidentally ripped your favourite pair of pants? Or dropped that shiny new tablet, only to have the screen smash into little tiny smithereens. Depending on the degree of damage, you’re forced to make a decision. Either you call up that family member who you know is crafty with a sewing machine, or in the case of your tablet, run a quick search to find out whether you invested in the warranty when you purchased it.

And if the product is seemingly damaged beyond repair, what do you do? If you’ve thrown out a pair of pants, or tucked an old tablet away in a drawer never to be used again, you’re not alone. We’re all guilty of this! The good news is that like so many challenges that we face on a daily basis, circular design offers an array of solutions.

So when it comes to repairing your clothes, or beloved products, what solutions exist outside of our distant family members or product warranties?

Where do we begin?

The repair business is booming.

If we could list all of the businesses, individuals and citizen initiatives involved in the repair world, we would! And if you have a favourite, please share in the comments below!

In our recent post on the circular design method of refurbishing, we explored Patagonia’s “used gear” collection, Worn Wear. When we created the post, we missed an important detail on how Patagonia actually repairs the used gear and prepares it for resale. That’s where our company pick for today’s post comes in.

The company we’ve chosen to showcase today is called Trove.

Trove has opened the doors of opportunity for big retail companies to become a part of one of the fastest growing consumer trends: sustainable, circular shopping. Trove takes these brands used clothing/ gear that would otherwise end up in landfills, and makes them new again. From cleaning, to repair, to new product photography, all the way to market, Trove handles the circular shopping experience for brands. They offer “white labelled” solutions to these big companies too, so that companies like Patagonia, can have a used gear brand like Work Wear, and ensure it still accurately represents all of the brand values.

Trove works with big brands like Nordstrom, Patagonia, Levis, Eileen Fisher and more. We’ll leave it up to you to imagine just how many articles of clothing are being repaired, rather than sent to the landfill.

We think Trove is pretty incredible, and we hope you take the time to check out some of the brands they have helped bring into the circular economy:

REI used gear
Arc’teryx Used Gear
Renew by Eileen Fisher

And because we love a good and powerful visual, we’re sharing one from Trove’s website, beautifully visualizing how their model works:

Source: Trove

The solutions to realizing a fully circular future exist, and it’s our job as citizens and as business owners to invest and support them now.

We hope you’ve enjoyed part 10 of our ten part circular design series. If you know of a circular company, brand, community or even individual that you think we should write about, don’t be a stranger! It takes a village.