September 20, 2021
Five Brands Leading the Charge in Sustainability

Does your business prioritize sustainability in every part of daily operations? Sustainability can be practiced in several ways, from switching to environmentally-friendly packaging to introducing an impactful trade-in program.

For a moment, consider the number of digital devices in the world. Did you know that there are approximately 6.4 billion global smartphone users worldwide? We live in a world of instant gratification and constant upgrades. So the launch of a new device can lead to a lot of waste – unless businesses embrace the idea of a circular economy. 

A retailer’s trade-in program is an effective way to leverage a circular economy and improve sustainability. 

Let’s explore the dynamic of a circular economy and a few brands that are leading the charge.

Benefits of a Circular Economy

There are several reasons for businesses to prioritize sustainability. On one hand, businesses have a responsibility to look after the environment at every stage of the process. 

On the other hand, consumers are increasing the demand for environmental awareness and practices. According to a recent study, 76% of American consumers expect companies to take action against climate change.   

A circular economy is based on the principles of reducing waste and pollution, keeping products and materials in use, and regenerating natural systems. 

A circular economy offers benefits and opportunities for both businesses and the environment. For example: 

  • Make better use of finite resources
  • Lower emissions by reducing waste
  • Protect human health and reduce threats to biodiversity
  • Boost economies by creating employment and stimulating innovation
  • Increase environmental awareness

The concept of a circular economy started to gain momentum in the late 1970s. Today, many businesses are blazing the trail and promoting a circular economy. 

Leaders in Recycling and Sustainability

Let’s take a look at five brands that offer trade-in programs as a way to promote the circular economy. As a result, the effort aligns with customer values and fuels brand loyalty. 


REI is an outdoor sporting brand that prides itself on having a passion for the outdoors and protecting the environment. The company also understands that the outdoors will only remain bountiful if it is protected from negative human impact and waste. 

REI’s passion for the outdoors has manifested in a dynamic initiative that allows co-op members to donate gently used gear in exchange for a gift card. As long as the items are clean and in good condition, then they can be given a second chance at life. 

The “good & used” initiative encourages outdoor enthusiasts to practice eco-mindfulness, clear out their closets and enjoy new apparel and equipment. Jackets, sleeping bags, tents, and hiking boots are resold and can continue their own outdoor adventures, rather than be stored at the back of a closet.


Apple has the highest smartphone market share in the United States, not to mention sales of other electronic devices. As a leading electronics company, it’s important that Apple encourages sustainability and sets an example for all businesses. By incorporating a trade-in program, they are doing just that.

Apple’s trade-in program allows people to trade any eligible device in exchange for credit toward their next purchase. If the device doesn’t hold any monetary value, Apple will manage the recycling process, making sure that each part is put to good use. 

The goal is to reduce the amount of electronic waste in landfills and re-use valuable materials in new devices.  


As a brand, Peloton promotes a healthy lifestyle through its various bikes, accessories, apparel, and online classes. However, it’s not only human bodies that Peloton strives to keep in tip-top shape, but also the environment. 

The brand’s sales surged 172% during the pandemic as lockdown restrictions inspired home fitness regimens.  Peloton encourages its loyal customers to be a part of its sustainability efforts through its trade-in program. 

By trading in used Peloton bikes, customers can enjoy a $700 rebate for yoga and toning accessories. The trade-in program allows fitness enthusiasts to enjoy a healthy lifestyle, knowing that they are also contributing to sustainability efforts. 


Patagonia strives to equip outdoor enthusiasts for their favorite moments in nature. Whether you’re a fan of surfing, climbing, trail running, or mountain biking, Patagonia has the gear to improve your experience. 

Now, they are offering used gear in an effort to cut down on consumption and help customers get the most use out of belongings that they already own. The Patagonia trade-in program invites customers to exchange used gear for credit towards their next purchase. 

As a business, Patagonia prides itself on producing high-quality gear that is made to last for years.  They point out that buying used garments can extend its life by two years. In turn, its combined carbon, waste, and water footprint is cut by 82%.


It’s no secret that your favorite song sounds better on a quality home sound system – and that’s where Sonos comes in. The successful brand prides itself on providing a “better way to listen”. Their trade-in program also offers music to our ears. 

The upgrade initiative is an exclusive program that makes it easier, and more eco-friendly, for long-time listeners to enjoy the latest Sonos experience. Customers benefit from a 30% discount on future purchases by trading in their existing system. 

Sonos also offers recycling services to make sure that every part of the old system is used to its fullest.

Trade-In Old Methods for Sustainable Practices

Successful businessman, Anand Mahindra, said, “Sustainability has to be a way of life to be a way of business.” We couldn’t agree more!

At Phobio, we help retailers incorporate circular economy practices by providing trade-in programs and connecting them with the vast global resale market. 

Go to for more information.