Vestiaire Collective data shows positive eco impact of resale

It claims shopping secondhand fashion on Vestiaire Collective “saves 90% of the environmental cost of a new fashion item”.As Earth Day this Friday focuses consumer and business minds more and more on sustainability issues, the first fashion resale platform to achieve B Corp status, published an inaugural impact report in collaboration with PwC showcasing the benefits its model is bringing to the fashion industry.

As well as that 90% figure, it said 70% of customers say shopping on the site “prevents them from buying” a brand new item, “a figure 17% higher than previous studies”.Its research included a survey that was conducted last December, with 2,363 people responding to it from 57 different countries.It’s particularly interesting as it’s the first platform in the resale industry doing such research to demonstrate the positive impact that resale can have on the fashion industry. Overall, the firm’s data suggests that the “calculated cost to the environment per secondhand purchase on Vestiaire Collective is €0.39”. That’s around a tenth of the environmental cost of a new purchase. In emissions terms, each item bought on Vestiaire Collective is claimed to save 17kg of CO2 versus a new one, equivalent to 100km driven by an average car. Vestiaire Collective said a “key element” of its business model involves “galvanising consumers to turn their backs on fast fashion purchases from highly influential yet controversial companies such as Shein”. And it added that while the resale industry “has been viewed by some as a further symptom of overconsumption, [it] is keen to demonstrate that its unique model, focused on community engagement, offers an effective antidote to society’s fast fashion addiction”.The report also found that Vestiaire Collective’s focus on high-value items “encourages consumers to invest in better-quality purchases, which can be better resold as they are designed to last. This phenomenon is termed the ‘upscale effect’ by the Boston Consulting Group, which found that 85% of pre-owned buyers participate to reduce overconsumption by trading up [from] fast fashion to fewer, higher-quality, longer-lasting items”. It believes its customers are “embracing this ‘less but better’ approach to fashion, with very few consumers – just 10% – using the profits from their secondhand sales to pay for new purchases”.And it’s clear that reselling platforms are important parts of the eco chain as the company said 50% of its sellers say they wouldn’t have resold their items without access to the platform.The study comes on the back of ongoing information about how big a part the fashion sector plays in pollution, with an estimated 120 billion items of new clothing and footwear being purchased annually. The fashion resale industry that’s helping to counter this is growing fast and is expected to double its market share between 2022 and 2030 from 9% to 18%. If this growth continues, “by 2030 the number of items resold rather than bought new will save the planet an environmental cost of €38 billion,” the report said.Fanny Moizant, Vestiaire Collective Co-Founder & President added: “It’s extremely encouraging to see the influence that high-end fashion resale platforms like Vestiaire Collective can have in boosting the circular economy. We hope that the work we are doing in this area will inspire businesses and consumers to change and embrace the ‘fewer but better’ model, helping to further reduce the fashion industry’s environmental impact.”

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