Carhartt Reworked: the trade-in program for old workwear

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Do you have workwear lying around that you’ve worn and no longer use, but is still too good to throw away? Carhartt has come up with a solution for that. Through its trade-in program, you can exchange your old workwear for another item. A fantastic initiative! In this article, I’ll explain how it works.

Carhartt Reworked: the trade-in program for old workwear
Photo: John Branch IV – Unsplash

Carhartt Reworked: the trade-in program for old workwear

The concept is called Carhartt Reworked and works quite simply. Customers can turn in their old Carhartt clothing and receive a gift card in return. You can arrange this online and send the clothing or bring it to the store. There are a few rules attached:

  • The clothing must be from Carhartt.
  • The items must have been purchased within the last 10 years.
  • The resale value of the item must be at least $50.
  • They cannot be T-shirts, accessories, products for animals, or children.
  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), high visibility clothing, heat-resistant clothing, and shoes are also not accepted for return.

You can turn in these clothing items:

  • Winter coats ($25 trade-in value)
  • Lightweight jackets ($10 trade-in value)
  • Overalls and coveralls ($20 trade-in value)
  • Vests ($15 trade-in value)
  • Hoodies and sweaters ($15 trade-in value)
  • Jeans and other pants ($10 trade-in value)


Expansion of Carhartt Reworked

Since March 2023, the company has been testing this exchange method. Initially, customers could only turn in clothing at six (American) stores. It was an immediate success. In the first four months, the company took in 40,000 clothing items, of which 9,000 were eligible for a second life. Via the Carhartt Reworked webshop, 4,000 items found a new owner. Customers pay about three-quarters of the original price for a second-hand clothing item.

Now, clothing can be turned in at all American stores, and customers can even send it themselves. Gretchen R. Valade, Director of Sustainability at Carhartt, calls the expansion of the service “a new milestone.”

“We launched our resale program, Carhartt Reworked, to extend the life of our equipment, reduce clothing waste, and keep previously worn and somewhat imperfect equipment out of landfills and working where it belongs. (…) We are very excited about the new expansion of the initiative. By launching the digital trade-in feature, more customers can participate in the program, and inclusivity is brought to those who wear our equipment and love our brand but may not live near one of our own stores,” Valade told Sourcing Journal.

All of this is done in collaboration with Trove, a company specializing in taking in and reselling old clothing.

Image: Part of the assortment on the Carhartt Reworked webshop

A Note

It’s a fantastic initiative to give old workwear a new life. But as you could see from the numbers, only a small part of the items taken in get a second owner. That’s not surprising, given that workwear wears out quickly.

Carhartt only sells items that are still good enough to wear. The website lists conditions the clothing must meet. For example, there should be no permanent stains from paint, grease, or bleach. Inconsistent fading or discoloration, fraying fabric, tears, missing buttons, or broken zippers are also not allowed. Additionally, the fabric must not smell like or contain pet hair, and the original Carhartt label must be present and readable.

Once the clothing items are taken in, they are cleaned and potentially repaired before appearing on the webshop. The gift card can be used in stores or online, both through the regular and the Reworked Carhartt webshop.

If your clothing item does not meet the requirements, it can still be taken in. The company ensures it is recycled or donated. This prevents the clothing from ending up in a landfill or incinerator.


The Future of Workwear?

Unfortunately, the service is currently only available to American customers. This applies not only to the stores but also to sending in the clothing. But given the rapid expansion, I expect the company to introduce this in other countries as well.

If you’re a fan of second-hand workwear, I recommend searching for Carhartt Reworked via Google. Apart from the brand’s webshop, there are other websites that sell some items.

I think eventually more companies will adopt this system. We now know that clothing production has a significant impact on nature and that we need to handle it differently. The most sustainable thing you can do is wear clothing until it’s worn out. And if it’s just gathering dust in your closet, it’s better to give it a second life.

Best regards,


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