Who We Are
Playback Sports opened its doors in January 2010, with the goal of getting unused sports gear out of storage, diverted from disposal, and back into circulation in the local community. It moved to its current location in the heart of Tacoma’s Proctor District in April 2012. The business expanded in 2016 adding a second store serving Puyallup and the surrounding valley communities. Today, nearly 7,000 active consignors make up the Playback Sports community of collaborative consumption. It not just about selling used sporting goods. Playback Sports has successfully moved the needle, creating a new paradigm of reuse that is wholly accepted and supported by the community.
Why reuse is important
Textiles are one of the fastest growing waste streams in the world, even though they are highly reusable and recyclable. On average, Americans throw away 70 lbs. of clothing per year, creating 3.8 billion pounds of unnecessary waste going into landfills. Taking into account the extraction of resources, manufacture of materials, distribution, sale and final disposal, the reuse and recycling of clothing is a much more environmentally friendly option compared to purchasing new clothing made from virgin materials.
The passion behind the business
“Playback Sports was born from a basement full of gear that needed to get back outside. Having worked at REI for 8 years in community outreach I had seen families and sports enthusiasts investing their time and money in gear that I was certain had become imprisoned in dusty basements and cold garages. I wanted to bring it all together in one place where experts could match the used gear with new users. I’m passionate about gear never becoming a barrier to sport and meet that challenge every day. There is no greater joy for me than to see a child running with a smile, throwing a ball or achieving a goal. I love the idea that sport is not about the gear but about the mind, body, earth connection that we get from the engagement with sport.
My own children have taught me volumes about the value of high quality gear as well as about high fashion gear…everyone loves to feel like they are part of the team because they fit in. Grass stains and mud, fresh air, lint from a tennis ball, splashing water and sunshine, elements that should be part of everyone’s world.
What has been accomplished since 2010
Playback Sports was awarded Washington State Recycling Association 2019 Recycler of the Year – Reuse Champion
30,000 articles of clothing processed and resold
11,000 pairs of shoes processed and resold
±125 bikes donated to ‘Bikes for Kids’
>3,000 bikes sold since 2010
± 12 stolen bikes returned to their rightful owners
± 3,000 lbs. of clothing and footwear re-circulated annually to local charities
±48 soccer balls donated to mission programs in Mexico and Central America
Employed over 20 local staff since 2010 some of whom have been with us for 8 years or more.
3 Current employees have been with the company for over 7 years.
Over 1.2M in consignor payouts locally
Hundreds of hats, gloves and coats donated to local coat drives and local schools.