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702: Andy Ruben on Revolutionizing Retail: A Deep Dive into Circularity and Innovation with Trove

Andy Ruben

Board Advisor, Strategist and the Founder & Board Chair of Trove

Join us as MBA student Sarah Haworth, MBA '24 explores the creation of a circular economy through sustainability, technology, and business innovation with Andy Ruben, the visionary behind Trove. Discover how Trove is revolutionizing the retail industry by extending the product lifecycle and fostering brand loyalty through technology.

In This Episode

  • Introduction to Trove: Andy Ruben discusses his journey from Walmart to founding Trove, a company that’s reshaping the retail landscape by managing the lifecycle of products beyond the primary market.
  • The Role of Technology: Learn how Trove partners with brands like Patagonia, Eileen Fisher, and REI to track sold items, assess their condition, and facilitate resale, thus promoting a sustainable approach to consumerism.
  • Leadership and Business Values: Andy shares his insights on aligning business incentives with impactful change and the importance of creativity and challenging the status quo in business.
  • The B Corp Movement: Discover how Trove’s status as one of the first B Corps influences its business practices, investor relations, and commitment to long-term strategic decision-making.
  • Profitability and the Future of Retail: Andy addresses the financial landscape of retail, emphasizing the need for brands to consider customer acquisition costs and the longevity of their items in the world.

Don’t miss this insightful discussion on the future of retail and sustainability. Listen now and join the conversation on how technology and innovation can lead to a more sustainable world.

Andy Ruben is a Board Advisor, Strategist and the Founder & Board Chair of Trove.
Ruben founded Trove in 2012, pioneering the first brand resale program that has
since grown into an industry with 150+ global brands operating dedicated
programs. Trove powers brands such as Patagonia, lululemon, Levi’s, Gucci and
REI with its suite of resale and reverse logistics technology. Previously, Ruben
led a number of transformation efforts at Walmart including launching their
heralded sustainability program, reimagining private brands, leading strategy and
the omni channel business. Ruben serves as Lead Independent Director of the
Zevia board and is an active member of the Competitive Council at Cerberus
Capital Management.

Sarah Haworth MBA '24 is a leader in corporate retail with over 15 years of experience in the commercialization of product strategy. Throughout her career, she has driven circularity and innovation initiatives, including launching upcycled and adaptive product lines, as well as developing and implementing brand-level sustainability strategies. Her belief that the fashion industry can be a catalyst for positive global change led her to the Bard Graduate Program in Sustainability where she is finishing her MBA in Sustainability with a focus on Circular Value Chain. Sarah is on a mission to use her experience and education to remodel how value is created in the fashion industry and drive the acceleration of circular commerce. In her free time, Sarah can be found enjoying time outdoors in the beautiful Pacific Northwest alongside her husband and two rescue dogs.

Bard’s Graduate Programs in Sustainability cultivate leaders who break through existing systems, innovating solutions to critical social, environmental and economic challenges.