Heavy inspiration from this article in The Atlantic.


It’s estimated that 25% of returns are discarded, and another chunk are simply destroyed because it’s cheaper to throw returns away than to restock them. Last year alone, U.S. retailers took back more than $100 billion in merchandise sold online. This means those returns are doing more than generating more Carbon emissions from transportation; they’re contributing to our already enormous waste problem.


To encourage zero waste throughout our supply chain, Reclypt doesn’t offer returns, but instead “Satisfaction Guaranteed”. We strongly encourage our customers to shop with intention (read about that here.) but if you’re not satisfied with a product from Reclypt, the designer will work with you to ensure your satisfaction! Reclypt wants you to love the products you find here and have them for a long time, so we are happy to work with you to make sure that happens!

We’ve all done it: order more than you intend to keep (different sizes, colors, styles, etc.), try them on at home, then return whichever didn’t work. This is what we would have done if we were in the store, but we cannot slip into the dressing room then put back what doesn’t work. “The average brick-and-mortar store has a return rate in the single digits, but online, the average rate is somewhere between 15 and 30 percent. For clothing, it can be even higher, thanks in part to bracketing—the common practice of ordering a size up and a size down from the size you think you need.”

But all those returns piles up. It’s estimated that 1 in 4 items are thrown away and some are destroyed immediately.

How does this happen?

Free shipping and free returns. So of course, we fill up our carts because there doesn’t seem to be a down side (if you’re forgetting carbon emissions and harmful conditions for garment workers that is). This leads to U.S. retailers taking back more than $100 billion in merchandise sold online last year.

Many retailers encourage us to do this because 1) it helps customers feel confident in their purchases 2) increases sales/is lucrative. Raise your hand if you’ve over ordered then didn’t return what you didn’t want.

Still not sure why returns are thrown away?

Welp, we all assume, “The item I am returning will go back exactly the way it came” but this couldn’t’ be farther from the truth. The path from customer back to retailer is largely unregulated leading retailers to do whatever is cheapest with those returns; and the cheapest thing to do with returns is throw them away.

It costs money to get a return back to a warehouse or store, check it for damage, relabel it, make it presentable, then put it back into circulation. Because fast fashion turns so quickly, it’s likely that return is no longer worth it’s original price, so they have to mark it down. So add up the costs and the mark down and it’s cheaper to throw it away.

But what happens to it?

All of that unwanted stuff piles up. Some of it will be diverted into a global shadow industry of bulk resellers, some of it will be stripped for valuable parts, and some of it will go directly into an incinerator or a landfill.

We can dispense now with a common myth of modern shopping: The stuff you return probably isn’t restocked and sent back out to another hopeful owner.


To maintain sustainability and intentional shopping, all items are final sale, thus non-refundable. Nonetheless, Reclypt promotes guaranteed satisfaction from Designer. This means that if a customer is unhappy with a product we encourage her/him/them to reach out to Designer for consultation about how to ensure satisfaction.

If Designer’s policy is different, it’ll be clearly stated on that product’s page.