The pre-loved and resale fashion business has seen a wave of interest in the last two years, with an uptick in conscious shoppers who are turning to second-hand clothes. From the pandemic’s start in 2020 to 2021, sales of ‘pre-loved’ fashion and homewares shot up on eBay in the UK, with the company selling more than 60 million used items. In July last year, Business of Fashion estimated the global resale market to be worth US$130 billion (S$183 billion), while fashion resale platform Thredup has predicted the resale sector to be double the size of fast fashion by 2030.
The luxury sector is also turning to pre-loved fashion, with one of the biggest players in the game being Vestiaire Collective. The French luxury resale platform boasts more than 15 million global members and three million items from over 80 countries – with South Korea added to the list just in July. It hit US$1.7 billion (S$2.39 billion) valuation in its latest funding round, with support from prominent backers like Japanese MNC SoftBank.
Fanny Moizant of Vestiaire Collective
The changing habits towards pre-loved fashion can be attributed partly to the pandemic, says Vestiaire Collective co-founder and president Fanny Moizant says: “Apart from being more conscious of their impact on the environment, consumers are shifting towards buying less but better, as quality and timeless pieces represent a safer investment. For example, choosing Hermes classics over trendy fashion items from Prada or Balenciaga.”
She adds that the increasing awareness and interest in conscious consumption have led luxury companies to innovate and create new business models to incorporate sustainable practices. These include using more sustainable materials in their product, incorporating sustainable practices in the production chain or providing a trade-in service for past season items to support this shift in purchasing habits. This had led to Vestiaire Collective launching its Brand Approved program last year, which saw a buy-back initiative with Alexander McQueen.
Vestiaire Collective debuted its Brand Approved circular fashion program with Alexander McQueen (pictured) last year – an initiative that now sees it buying back pieces from labels as a means to prolong the “life cycle” of luxury products.
“The Brand Approved program has also extended to brands like Mulberry, MyTheresa and Ganni, and is a priority for us moving further into 2022 to reduce fashion overconsumption” adds Moizant. “Labels are more than ever considering the life cycle of their products beyond the first sale, and our service offers a way for their customers to buy better and extend the life cycle of these pieces.”
In line with its aim of championing sustainability, Vestiaire Collective has also launched a rebranding campaign to inspire change in the industry and reflect the way fashion lovers can recalibrate for a more conscious future. The campaign is fronted by five ‘style icon’ puppets, all made from recycled clothing and embodying the various reasons why pre-loved is the future of sustainable fashion.
Ahead, Moizant talks more about the pre-loved market.
'Retail With Resale' Might Just Be The Future Of Shopping, Says Vestiaire Collective's Fanny Moizant