he clothing and textile industry is responsible for up to 8% of global greenhouse gas emissions, according to the United Nations. Textiles account for about 9% of the microplastics that enter the world’s oceans each year.
But big brands are starting to use the resale market as a way to give clothes a second life and save them from landfill.
Just over 18 months ago, Gucci launched a new partnership with second-hand luxury site The RealReal, which now offers a Gucci e-commerce site dedicated to second-hand pieces from consignors and the brand itself. same.
It has followed other companies, including Stella McCartney, Burberry and Levi’s, in creating a dedicated so-called “recommerce” operation to resell products that former customers no longer want.
Other brands should follow suit and embrace the trend of buying and selling used goods – before they are left behind, according to a panel of experts speaking at the Evening Standard’s XPO SME conference in London this week.
“Luxury brands are dinosaurs. They’re run mostly by men, and they think very old-school. They don’t even have proper websites in many cases,” said Sabrina Sadiq, founder and CEO of high-end resale site Luxury Promise.
She suggested that building a relationship with existing customers could help brands drive return visits.
“It’s never about short term traction, we always have to think long term and that’s what people want now.
“Selling a pair of sneakers is short-term; taking back the old pair and selling two more is long term.
Brands are starting to get on board, said Tatiana Wolter-Ferguson, co-founder and CEO of second-hand site Hewi.
“Every company is now under pressure to know what its sustainability strategy is. We are seeing a huge influx of interest from leading brands wanting to get into the [resale] space, but they really don’t understand it and they really need help getting there.
She said retailers need to understand that introducing a resale model will not disadvantage the business and is not a loss leader.
“I’m really excited about how quickly people want to get on it and how open people are now to change,” she added.
Reece Morgan, director of handbags and jewelry at Xupes, which also sells pre-worn luxury brands, said there was “massive hunger” among consumers.
“We actually have a lot of customers who won’t buy from the main brand store – they won’t go to Gucci to buy a bag, they want to buy a second-hand one because it’s more cost effective, more durable and it’s more of a conscious buying choice.
He said getting into the resale market doesn’t make a brand cheaper, but rather adds value.
Marcia Cooper, founder and director of second-hand shop House of Vintage UK, said the benefits for brands lie in the accolades they receive from customers and how they extend their reach.
“I think it’s a great way to communicate with your customers and get in touch with them.
“If you’re a brand that has sustainability on their priority list and you have a section of your website where you resell, that’s a way to reach that customer and say, ‘we believe in the same. thing”.