As sustainability becomes a higher priority for brands and consumers alike, more companies are looking to change the retail landscape as we know it. If you have read any of my previous articles, you may know that I try my best to invest in vintage or preowned pieces, whether it’s in my home, in my closet, or on my arm – I try my best to consume as thoughtfully as possible. So when I heard about Coach’s new (Re)Loved exchange program and workshop, it seemed like something I should check out right away.
The idea behind Coach (Re)Loved is simple: you can bring in your preloved leather Coach bags that are in gently worn condition to a Coach location near you. A specialist will evaluate your bag and determine if it is eligible for trade-in. Currently, Coach is only accepting all leather retail bags, so, unfortunately, canvas and other fabric bags and outlet items are not being accepted into the program. When I arrived at the Coach flagship on Madison Avenue, I got to see the process in action.
The bags have to be gently worn, with no tears and only with minimal scratches and wrinkles. They also accept bags in need of two or fewer repairs, as long as they meet Coach’s standard repair guidelines. If you still have all your bag accessories, it’s a good idea to bring those with you as well. Based on your item’s condition and the original value of your item, you’ll receive a store credit ranging anywhere from $10 to $140. Coach also offers Zoom or FaceTime appointments with their store associates so you can gauge whether your bag is eligible for trade-in before coming into the store.
A Re(Loved) Makeover
Is your bag not eligible? Maybe you aren’t ready to completely let go? That’s ok! Coach’s craftsmen also offer different ways to reimagine your old bag with customizations like charm embellishments and embossments. They even have various hang-tags to choose from if you want to give your bag a fresh pop of color. Personally, I love customizations and find them to be a great way to make your bag feel yours uniquely. It also gives your bag a personalized story.
Some of my favorite charms were the NYC-themed ones, but they have everything from stars to skulls. There are also numbers, which I love because I always want my lucky numbers embossed on my bags, and most of the time, letters are offered but not numbers. Speaking of embossments, there’s also a press at the Craftsmanship bar for customizations on either your bag, a hang-tag, or a key chain.
Craftsmanship and quality are two of the most important things to me as a bag buyer. When it comes to shopping sustainability, the longevity of an item is also important. Knowing that your item is high enough quality that it can be repaired and mended instead of just tossed and replaced is something that matters to sustainably-minded shoppers. It’s always awe-inspiring to see how leather can be repaired and restored, and the expert craftsmen at Coach are really knowledgeable on the subject. There’s a certain satisfaction that comes along with watching an expert in action, as they truly are capable of breathing new life into a bag.
Why We (Re)Love
One of my favorite things about this program is that it shines a light on vintage bags. I am fascinated with history and love items that tell a story, and this program offers many opportunities to create or buy a bag that does just that! Now when you enter a Coach store, you can look at and purchase a variety of bags the brand has offered over the years which are on display at the (Re)Loved wall by the craftsmanship bar. Plus, if you participated in the trade-in program, you can use your voucher right then and there to bring home a new bag to love.
I love this program from Coach, especially because it helps make luxury items last longer while keeping more waste out of landfills. With all that being said, I’d love to hear what our Coach community has to say about this program. Please share your thoughts and experiences below in the comments.