Decathlon launches buy-back scheme for tents to tackle music festival waste

DJ and presenter Jo Whiley is supporting the initiative. Image: Decathlon.

The aim of the retailer’s ‘No Tent Let Behind’ scheme is to stop festival-goers and campers from discarding their tents after one use. Despite actions from campsites and festival organisers to address the issue, some 250,000 tents go to landfill in the UK each year after summer.

This is equivalent to around 10kg of tent waste for every festival-goer.

Decathlon’s scheme will be available to customers in the UK and covers ten of the most popular tent models.

Under the scheme, customers have until 13 September to bring their eligible tents back to Decathlon stores for trade-in. They will receive a gift card amounting to the full amount they spent on the tent in the first instance, regardless of wear and tear.

The tents will be refurbished, cleaned and resold via Decathlon’s ‘Second Life’ resale platform. The platform initially launched in the UK last year for own-brand bicycles and was expanded this spring to cover a range of camping gear and fitness equipment including golf clubs, tennis rackets and paddleboards.

Decathlon UK’s sustainability leader Chris Allen said: ”We’re relaunching the ‘No Tent Left Behind’ campaign with the biggest Tent Pledge following the success of last year.

“100% of the tents returned in 2023 were refurbished and resold through Decathlon’s Second Life scheme. We want to make an even bigger impact and encourage our customers to choose sustainable habits whilst they’re enjoying themselves. We continue our commitment to reducing our environmental impact and hope our customers will be inspired to do the same.”

Scaling up circular business models is a core pillar of Decathlon’s environmental sustainability strategy, along with increasing product repairability and durability; enhancing traceability and cutting emissions in line with verified science-based targets.

The business is aiming to expand its buy-back offering to more than 100 types of products by 2026. By this point, it is striving to have facilitated the repurchase of 800,000 items.

Decathlon also offers repair and DIY workshops and services, plus rental across several product categories including bikes, tents and skiing equipment.

Related feature: How are fashion retailers reinventing repair?

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