The tribe of fashion savers is growing. ThredUp invites brands to join. | Fashion

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The business model of the fashion industry is based on planned obsolescence. Every season, thousands of fashion brands introduce entirely new collections, and major changes in fashion trends occur predictably every five to seven years, all with the intention of stimulating a large number of new fashion purchases.

But people and the planet pay a high price for indulging in the fashion industry’s obsolescence plan. According to McKinseyThe fashion industry produced enough clothing in 2014 to provide nearly 14 individual items for every living person in the world, and it has certainly increased since then.

Constantly pumping out a constant stream of new products, the industry produces about 10% of global greenhouse gas emissionsit uses more energy than the aviation and shipping industries combined and discharges 20% of the world’s wastewater, while also being the second largest water-using industry in the world.

As the industry works overtime to clean up its act, fashion’s underlying obsolete business model doesn’t change. But it is not sustainable as consumers are becoming more price conscious. They are beginning to break the vicious circle of consumption that the fashion industry is based on, which is costly for them and destructive to the environment.

In the gap, ThredUp offers fashion brands an alternative to be on the right side of the environment and fuel consumers’ desire for something new to wear; only new from ThredUp is something old from another consumer’s closet.

Called Resale-as-a-Service (Raas), ThredUp enables fashion brands and retailers to extend their business model to sell new and gently used items to cater to the growing legion of money-conscious consumers who want to save money. and contribute to helping the environment. ThredUp calls these clients “Savers”.

budget lifestyle

Unlike the savers of yesteryear who were forced to live frugally, the modern generation of savers, while still interested in saving money, are increasingly motivated to change their buying habits to make a real difference in the world.

“When we discuss the use of the term ‘thrifty’ in our communications, we wonder if it would equate to cheap or low-quality stuff,” said Anthony Marino, president of ThredUp. “But we found that it was a term that was evocative of an unassuming lifestyle and it became an advantage for us to connect with shoppers concerned about lasting value, sustainability and a new way to shop.”

Another factor driving the budget lifestyle is that savers get a psychological reward for their new buying habit. “Saving is like a sport. It takes some work to go through a lot of things, but savers get an endorphin rush when they find that Diane von Furstenberg wrap dress for $39 instead of $139. Today it’s become a badge of honor for saving, at place of a stigma.

That’s why 72% of consumers who consider themselves thrifty are proud to share their thrift store finds with others, according to a GlobalData survey of 3,500 American adults published in ThredUp’s 10th edition of its “2022 Resale Report.”

Thredup estimates that more than half of US consumers are or have the potential to become savers. About 57% of consumers resold clothing in 2021 and more than half (53%) reported buying second-hand clothing in the past year, up 22 points from 2020.

Saving has become such a thing that 41% of self-described savers buy second-hand first, and are passionate about it. Almost half of the consumers who bought second-hand clothing in 2021 bought ten or more used items.

Profit through resale

As the affordable lifestyle grows, the livelihood of fashion brands is under threat, particularly in the North American market, where the second-hand clothing market is expected to grow 16 times faster than the second-hand market. fashion firsthand for 2026. That’s where ThredUp and its RaaS service can help brands. bridge the gap.

“Brands and retailers are beginning to recognize that the next wave of growth in fashion is resale,” Marino shared. “Nearly 80% of fashion brand and retail executives surveyed said their customers were already buying used. Now they are forced to ask ‘What is our reselling strategy?’”

To date, ThredUp estimates that only 41 brands make resell a product offeringwith the vast majority, 33 in all, being new to the business, having set up their resale shops in 2021 or the first three months of 2022. And these are big brands with a loyal customer base that count on these brands to be accountable. of them and the environment, including Eileen Fisher, Lululemon, REI, Patagonia, Levi’s and Madewell.

Recognizing that reselling is a growth opportunity for established brands, but that it requires an entirely new set of capabilities that ThredUp has mastered, it offers brands two ways to jump on the reselling bandwagon: a Take Back program, where brands can provide cleanliness in the closet. Out Kits to customers to convert their used clothing and accessories of any brand into credit for their brand, and a branded online resale store to add resale to a brand’s e-commerce site.

Currently Walmart
Reform, Crocs
Banana Republic, Athleta, Fabletics, MM La Fleur among others participate with ThredUp.

Fashion brands that offer resale send a powerful reinforcing message to customers that the quality of their products is exceptionally high, driving brand growth in both the primary and secondary markets.

We’ve known for a long time that luxury brands justify their high prices in part because their products retain value over time. For next-generation Gen Z and Millennial consumers, value retention is becoming a consideration not just for luxury, but for any fashion purchase, with 46% saying resale value has now become part of your fashion buying equation.

“Consumers are always looking for smarter alternatives,” Marino said. “There is something inherently smart about saving. It is a pleasure without guilt, not a destructive form of consumerism, but a conscious way of consuming.

He continued: “It’s very smart for fashion brands to get ahead of resale trends. They are at a fork in the road. They can bury their heads in the sand or start and learn. Retailers entering resale will have a clear advantage and increased portfolio share by combining new items with used clothing in the same experience.”

And ultimately, fashion brands that incorporate resale into their existing business model can buy themselves some time to redesign their current manufacturing processes, which Kearney reports is not doing so well.

On the latest from Kearney Circular Fashion Index Report 2022The industry average index only rose from 1.6 two years ago to 2.97 out of 10 on its measure of fashion brands’ efforts to extend the life cycle of their clothing and reduce their environmental impact.

“I think the best article of clothing is the one that already exists,” he said. Theanne Schiros, an assistant professor at the Fashion Institute of Technology and a principal investigator at the Center for Materials Science and Engineering Research at Columbia University. “The best fabric is the fabric that already exists. Keeping things in the supply chain in as many loops and cycles as possible is very, very important.”

ThredUp agrees wholeheartedly, offering brands a new loop in the fashion supply chain cycle.

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