Your Old Gear Has a Future: Benefit the Environment

Don’t throw used gear away. Give it a second life and help protect wilderness spaces, climbing areas, rivers, and more in the process.

cairn gear up give back worn used gear

What’s better than getting a box of new gear delivered right to your door? Clearing out your closet and helping preserve the places you love, obviously.

That’s where Cairn comes in. The outdoor-products subscription service teams up with The Gear Fix, an equipment repair and consignment shop, and The Conservation Alliance nonprofit to launch “Gear Up, Give Back.”

cairn gear up give back worn used gear

Beginning in March, Cairn subscribers and non-subscribers can ship used gear to be washed, repaired, and resold. Cairn and The Gear Fix will then match net profits and donate them to The Conservation Alliance. It’s a no-brainer.

Gear Up, Give Back

According to Cairn, the initiative addresses an inherent dilemma in its gear-subscription service.

“We get a thrill from discovering innovative new gear, which means we end up retiring some of our equipment simply because we’ve moved on to something that works better for us,” Cairn co-founder Rob Little said in a statement.

For those that don’t know, Cairn ships gear to subscribers on a monthly or quarterly basis – it’s like Blue Apron for the outdoors. Boxes include packs, mugs, skin care, trail mix, emergency guides, first aid, apparel, and more. The value of the boxes ranges anywhere from $50 to $350 depending on subscription level.

That’s all well and good, but that new gear often retires older pieces subscribers have. And a lot of it still has use. We’ve covered the burgeoning market for outdoor gear repair and consignment (see Minneapolis’s Repair Lair and Patagonia’s traveling Worn Wear program). For the Gear Up, Give Back initiative, Cairn paired with another repair and consignment store in its own backyard.

the gear fix: cairn gear up give back worn used gear
The Gear Fix, Bend, Ore.

Like Cairn, The Gear Fix is based in Bend, Ore. And while it will receive, repair, and resell all incoming product at its brick-and-mortar store, anyone anywhere can participate.

Best of all, you don’t have to subscribe to Cairn to donate old equipment to Gear Up, Give Back. Beginning in March, non-subscribers can go to Cairn’s Gear Up, Give Back page to get a bag and address label. Subscribers will receive a bag with their normal shipment.

So start clearing out your loft, garage, or closet, and get ready to do some good for the places we love.

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By
Adam Ruggiero is an all-sport activity junkie - from biking, running, and (not enough) surfing, to ball sports, camping, and cattle farming. If it's outside, it's worth doing. Adam graduated from the University of Minnesota with a BA in journalism. Likes: unique beer, dogs, stories. Like nots: neckties, escalators, manicured lawns.
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