Swiss running shoe brand On Holding AG, which is backed by tennis star Roger Federer, went public last year and expects to see net sales of 1$1.1 billion in 2022.
On Holding AG has made sustainable development the emphasis of its business. According to its 2021 Environmental Impact Statement, it has set science-based climate targets aimed at reducing direct emissions by 46 percent by 2030 and decreasing indirect emissions from the company’s supply chain and use products. On also strives to be fully circular, meaning that it will only ever use recycled materials to manufacture its products and will create little waste in their production, distribution and use.
Wenger said, “Obviously it will take us years to go full cycle,” said Samuel Wenger, On’s global head of direct-to-consumer. The new resale site, Onward, “is the perfect intermediate step.”
The fashion industry has a massive climate and waste issue. According to the United Nations, 2 to 8 percent of international carbon dioxide emissions come from large fashion, which is also a significant source of plastic pollution. By prolonging the life of products, either via resale or leasing, consumers and businesses keep them out of dumps longer and stop future emissions associated with the development of new products.
Here’s how Onward will function: Consumers can send their lightly or somewhat used shoes back to the company in exchange for a $35 gift card that can be spent on new or used items, as long as the shoes are of good sufficiently grade to be used again and do not cause injury. (Shoes that don’t meet this plan will be donated or recycled.) The returned items will then be sorted into three types based on quality—near perfect, very good, and good—and related price.
New, seasonal and higher quality items will cost more than lower quality, out of season items and all items will be less expensive than brand new. According to Wenger, a new product of near-perfect quality will cost about 75 percent of the original price. In addition to shoes, the company plans to start selling used clothing under the On brand on the resale website by the end of the year.