In November, the FutureCard credit card debuted as a new way for consumers to earn rewards when shopping with companies that prioritize sustainability. The brands included use regenerative agriculture, circular supply chains or less impactful materials. The idea is to give FutureCard cardholders 5% cash back on purchases from their sustainable brand and service partners, with 1% cash back on all other purchases, much like a Chase card Sapphire.
Future, the parent company of FutureCard, defines buying a product or service as green if it has a significantly lower carbon footprint than the most common alternative.
FutureCard’s 5% cash back currently applies to 20 partner retailers, including Reformation and For Days. For some, this only applies to their second-hand collections. For example, shoppers receive 5% cash back on purchases at Levi’s SecondHand, Patagonia Worn Wear, The North Face Renewed, and Lululemon Like New. Others include second-hand marketplaces like Rent the Runway, thredUp, REI Good & Used, and Poshmark.
Future promoted the next-tier cashback incentive on its social media channels. It plans to roll out more marketing as its cardholder base grows. FutureCard is a Visa card and has 20,000 users across the United States
“We are very focused on finding emerging fashion brands and working with existing fashion brands that provide options and circular opportunities for their buyers to reduce their carbon footprint and earn rewards in the process,” said co-founder Jean-Louis Warnholz. The map is the first of its kind; cash rewards are generally not associated with sustainability. However, these benefits are attracting more interest from investors, providing an opportunity for the financial sector.
When Future launched FutureCard, even its team was unaware that many of the brands it buys, including Lululemon and Levi’s, sell pre-owned options directly. “It’s great quality and sometimes you can save up to 50%,” Warnholz said. He added that, especially with rising inflation, not all consumers can spend more money planting trees and buying offsets. “We try to combine these very real challenges that American families [are facing] with opportunities to reduce their carbon footprint,” he said.
Meredith Mirchandani, Head of Marketing at For days, said there was a need to change consumers’ consumer mindsets and that FutureCard made it possible. “We strive to make it easy and accessible for shoppers to participate in circular choices that will significantly reduce fashion waste,” she said.
For Days’ business model is centered on circularity; he collects used clothes and recycles them into new collections. According to Mirchandani, moving from a “take, make, waste” economy to a circular economy will be difficult. “This needs to be done through meaningful partnerships across brands and industries to drive real, seismic change,” she said. “We know that strong incentives can help steer shoppers towards circular consumption.” For Days still runs its Closet Cash store credit program, which gives customers credit for shopping and recycling.
Longer-lasting options often come at a premium, due to the extra expense needed to produce them. However, by targeting brands popular with Gen Z and Millennials, Future hopes to encourage shoppers to see the opportunity to buy used directly from the brands.