Resale Isn’t Just for Collectors Anymore—It’s for Brands, Too
The next step in fashion democracy.
As of October 5th, also known as National Consignment Day, Gucci and TheRealReal, both major power players in the luxury space, have teamed up to launch an online shop together. The Gucci x TRR shop features a curated edit of items from handbags to shoes to clothes sourced both from sellers and directly from Gucci (samples that may have been used for campaigns or editorially).
“It’s no secret that sustainability is a value prized by many millennials and Gen Z consumers, and that’s where we’re seeing the greatest growth in Gucci demand on our site,” explains Allison Sommer, senior director of strategic initiatives at The RealReal. “Forging a direct partnership with us also provides a path for Gucci to engage and build loyalty with younger demographics.”
“It’s no secret that sustainability is a value prized by many millennials and Gen Z consumers.”
The virtual platform where just about anyone can create an account to sell shoes, clothing, accessories, and more is not solely about selling secondhand stuff anymore. For example, Anna Sui is using Depop for archival runway pieces to promote “alongside the Gen Z sellers who are inspired by her design legacy. That helped us provide context and education for younger sellers, not to mention making those covetable, hard-to-find pieces available to buy,” explains Dool.
“The existing Depop community is made up of 22+ million users, 90 percent of whom are under the age of 26.”
Targeting a new consumer segment also means a second chance for clothes that didn’t sell out the first time around. Excess inventory is a huge problem in fashion. Retailers place orders very far in advance, and then when something unexpected like COVID-19 hits, they cancel or decrease orders, sticking brands with product they can’t always sell. Resale platforms not only offer alternative channels for revenue, but they can hopefully decrease what ends up in landfills.
“[Depop] is democratic in nature; an individual seller and an established fashion powerhouse both have the same features available when setting up their shops.”
These aren’t the only ones using alternative channels to make sure clothing finds a new home; even rental platforms are jumping on board. Revive by Rent the Runway is a collection of previously rented garments that will be available to shop on online thrift store thredUP. Both brands on their own provide alternative methods to combat the fast-fashion system and are now joining forces.
“A perk of resale is that you have the benefit of shopping sustainably and keeping pieces in circulation, which is incredibly important at a time when one garbage truck’s worth of textiles is landfilled or burned every second.”
One of Rent the Runway’s claims to fame is accessibility. Renting a designer garment is much more feasible pricewise than purchasing one. On that same train of thought, purchasing a pre-owned (or pre-rented) garment is also a more realistic option than buying from the primary market. For Revive, the average price of the items available is roughly $150—not the typical cost of a designer good.
With regard to the actual garments being sold, each RTR Revive garment has been previously rented, worn, and of course, dry-cleaned. The items’ conditions range from minor imperfections to near perfect condition, with a huge array of brands from Brock Collection to Jason Wu to Tibi. However, at up to 80 percent off the original retail price, minor wear and tear doesn’t sound too bad.
The glossy stereotype of exclusivity that luxury was built on has lost some of its sheen, especially when finances are strained. These days, accessibility and sustainability, which most of the luxury sector deemed dirty words even 10 years ago, are important elements to consider.
Top photo: Courtesy of Rent the Runway
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