Frequently Asked Questions + Answers
FAQ + A’s
What can I expect a Renewed Product to look like?
The Renewal Process is what we call the process a garment goes through inside our Renewal Factory to ensure a high quality product for our customers. Our first step is to determine if the product can be renewed and sold as Renewed Apparel. We inspect each product by hand to determine if there are any problems like holes, or broken components, dirt or stains. If it looks like we can fix it, then it is sent to be cleaned in our TERSUS cleaning machine.
After cleaning the garment is re-inspected by our Quality Lead and either approved for labeling or prepped for repair. If something needs to be fixed, a sew tech gathers the thread, zippers, buttons or whatever is needed to make the repair. We co-brand every product with a Renewal Workshop label so you can have confidence that the garment has been certified to meet the quality standards for Renewed Apparel.
The Renewal Workshop works in collaboration with our brand partners to set quality standards for repairs. We have a guideline for every kind of repair and the quality is approved by our brand partners. Our repairs meet the quality expectation of our brand partners.
After repairs are done, the product passes through our Quality Assurance department for final inspection - this way we confirm the repairs and labels meet the required standards.
Why Don’t brands renew themselves?
Most apparel brands are experts in fashion, innovation and design for new garments. They contract with factories all over the world who are the experts in manufacturing apparel.
The operations of the brands themselves are not set up to manufacture clothing and the majority of apparel factories are outside the US. The Renewal Workshop was created to help apparel brands close the loop on their products once they are here in the US market. We are experts in apparel renewal and managing materials for upcycling and recycling if the products cannot be renewed.
Some brands do offer repairs and warranty on their products, but this is different than renewal. Warranty operations are set up to help customers who want their products fixed and returned. We love this because it extends the life of garments on an individual basis customer by customer. We partner with companies to help manage all of their unsellable returns and excess inventory which includes warranty claims that customers do not want back.
ORDERS & ORDERING
Do you have free shipping?
Yes, yes we do!
I made a mistake. Can I change my order?
The goal is to ship your order as quickly as possible. Once you hit submit, most orders cannot be changed. However, The Renewal Workshop customer service team may be able to help. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Can I send you my old clothes?
Can I send you my used clothing?
If you have clothes from any of our brand partners that you would like to add to the Renewal System we are happy to take them. Clothing that is in good condition may be Renewed and resold again, this helps us invest in finding solutions for everything that cannot be renewed. Those solutions include doing research with various recyclers and innovators who are finding solutions to close the loop in textiles and take very damaged clothing and turn it into new yarns for new clothes.
Feel free to contribute to the renewal movement by sending us your clothes to:
CircleBack @ The Renewal Workshop
1400 NE COLUMBIA GORGE WAY
CASCADE LOCKS OR 97014-4013
Can you fix my favorite…?
First of all, thank you for wanting to fix what you already own and love. Extending the life of our clothes has the best positive environmental impact. We are not a repair shop for individual repairs, our operations are setup to handle repairs at a production level. So we have done a little research to help you find somewhere to repair your item.
- Search locally, a lot of towns have tailors, alteration shops or even repairs done at local dry cleaners. Keeping business local also reduces the need to ship you garment somewhere and you can talk to the person who is doing your repair.
- Want to try the repair yourself, check out Ifxit that has videos on how to do some common repairs on clothes. https://www.ifixit.com/Device/Clothing
- If you have a more technical garment that needs repair, here is a list of a few expert repairs shops across the country that will be a good resource.
Narin’s Outdoor Repair - http://outdoorrepairs.blogspot.ca
A&J alternation - http://www.ajalteration.com/home.html
Nila’s Niche - https://www.nilasniche.com
Lindy Cleaners - http://lindy-cleaners.business.site
Smoking Iron Alterations - http://www.smokingironalterations.com
Quickstitch Alterations By Juliana - http://quickstitchalterationsbyjuliana.business.site
Acadia Sewing & Alterations - http://alterations.yolasite.com
Zipper Hospital - http://www.zipperhospital.com
Ninh Alterations - http://www.ninhalterationsgr.com
Repair Lair - https://repairlair.com
Renaissance Alterations - http://renaissancealterationstailoring.com
The Green Darner - http://www.greendarner-repairlab.com
Denim Therapy - http://denimtherapy.com
Rugged Thread - http://www.ruggedthread.com
Wardrobe Clinic - http://www.wardrobeclinic.com
RainyPass - http://rainypass.com
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How do I request a brand?
Don’t see your favorite brands? We would like to work with them too. Reach out directly to the brand via their customer service or information emails and ask what they are doing with their apparel waste? Perhaps your inquiry can help change the industry by letting brands know there are responsible solutions available for their unsellable apparel.
How do you set your prices?
Our products are priced 20 - 50% off the original price. Sometimes we do not know the original price of the garment, but we do know that a brand’s products sell at a certain range.
As we evolve on our journey we are working with our brand partners to gather more data on the original product to help get you more information about the product and details.
When do things go on sale?
Renewed Apparel is priced between 20 - 40% off the original price of the garments. We invest a lot to make sure that Renewed Apparel meets a high quality for resale just for you. We do not have traditional sales, but if you sign up for our newsletter, we often have special deals and discounts for our Renewed Community.
PRODUCTS & INFORMATION
Didn’t I just see that top?
Yes, you aren’t just seeing things. Renewal is a process that starts with about 30-40 random garments in a box. From there the renewing process is both physical and technical. We do our best to reconnect items to their original data but sometimes we can't and that creates duplicates. We're constantly refining the process and building new technology to get you more and better information about the products we sell and give them to you all together so you can see your size and color options all in one look.
Is everything used?
Not always. Renewed Apparel comes from a larger pool of returned items, damaged items, customer take-back programs or other production sources. No matter where they started, all products sold as Renewed Apparel go through our six stage certification process to ensure you get a high-quality product that meets our standards that are aligned with our brand partners.
Is it my imagination or is that the same color?
Perhaps it is. We assign colors when we sort clothes. If you were part of that blue/gold dress debate you know how hard it is to get people to agree on what color something is. We've also added new colors over time. This means there are occassions where the same color is named diffrenetly. Thankfully, you'll always have the photos so you can decide if it's blue, green or teal.
Where can I try things on? Can I buy Renewed in a store?
We are working to get you more Renewed Apparel in a store near you. Right now our partner Toad&Co offers Renewed Apparel in their store Lizard Lounge in Portland Oregon.
We also have partnered with REI at their flagship store in Seattle Washington where you can find Renewed Apparel up in the gear loft on the third floor.
To find when the latest pop up is near you be sure to follow us on Instagram and sign up for our Newsletter.
Where’s the original product information and name?
Selling products in a Circular Economy is a new endeavor and we are transitioning a linear system for selling to a circular one. This means that sometimes we can't connect a product back to its original data. We know our customers want more and better data and we want that for you, too. We're working hard in the backend to build more sophisticated tools to make the clothing and the data circular. Thank you for your patience as we build our technology and bare will us as we work to offer you an incredible experience in buying Renewed.
THE RENEWAL PROCESS
Is it clean? How clean?
As clean as new! We take clean seriously. It's one of the things you can always count on. And, it's backed by awesome science! We've partnered with TERSUS Solutions, the world’s most advanced cleaning technology, to get our Renewed Apparel to a clean-as-new quality without water.
TERSUS harnesses the gentle cleaning properties of liquid CO2 to remove oils, particulates, and odor that degrade the useful life of apparel. Gently removing these elements improves the look and feel of a garment after each cycle, and extends its useful life.
TERSUS uses CO2 in a closed-loop system where the C02 starts out as a gas and is compressed to a liquid. Once in liquid form it runs similar to your home washing machine, using an environmentally safe detergent through cleaning and rinsing cycles. At the end of the process, the pressure is released and the C02 turns back into a gas. The clothes are totally dry. No water, no heat! The process recaptures 98% of the C02. It eliminates the need for water, thus using fewer natural resources and produces no effluent. Because no heat is used, the garments are protected against shrinkage and fiber degradation.
What does it mean to be zero waste?
We want to see a world where no textile or piece of apparel ends up in landfill. For us, Zero Waste is about finding the right home for unwanted apparel. We assess all apparel and textiles that come into our facility for its highest use. The best environmental impact is to get that product back out into use as it was originally designed for. So we focus on getting garments Renewed and back to customers. For everything else we find other solutions which could include upcycling products into new items, a jacket becomes tote bag or a pair of jeans a pouch for your school supplies. Items might also be downcycled and used as a recycled material in something like carpet padding or textiles in cars. Or the garment might become feedback or the raw material for recycling, this is the exciting opportunity where garments become new fibers and yarns for future clothing.
What happens to products that can’t be renewed?
The Renewal System is the proprietary process we developed to take discarded clothing and turn it into renewed apparel, material for upcycling, or feedstock for recycling. Our goal is to ensure a zero waste system that recovers the full value out of what has already been created.
For the items that cannot be Renewed we collect and organize that material to use it at its highest value. That means if the material can be used to make something new then it should. We call this upcycling. Sometimes the material is too damaged to be used again, so we aggregate these materials for recycling. While recycling innovation for textiles is still new, we are able to conduct R&D, and supply feedstock for that research on behalf of our brand partners.
Why aren’t your prices lower?
Renewed Apparel isn’t about the cheapest deal on not new clothing, Renewed Apparel is one part of a circular system where we at The Renewal Workshop are trying to change an entire apparel industry from a linear model to a circular one. That means that Renewed Products are about doing something good for the planet and getting greater value. We invest in the cleaning, repair and quality of the product, so that you, our customer, get a high-quality product without having to use new resources from the planet to get it.
Renewed Apparel also funds research and development into innovations for textile recycling, something that needs work to find solutions that don’t exist today to create a zero waste industry.