The style business used to deal with extra clothes like cursed items. Some luxurious homes assembled rip-roaring bonfires, utilizing leftover inventory as multi-million greenback tinder. However due to environmentally acutely aware customers—and their appreciation for previous(er) clothes—that considering is altering. Gucci, which is thought for taking designer Alessandro Michele’s curiosity within the previous—historic palazzos, centuries-old portraiture, and flea-market treasures—and turning out one thing fantastically new, is launching a partnership with TheRealReal to resell its personal secondhand (“pre-loved,” in TRR parlance) gadgets on the platform and encourage others to do the identical.
The partnership between will incentivize individuals to resell their Gucci wares by promising to plant a tree for each consigned merchandise—and, notably, will even type a direct channel between the home and the secondary market on which its items have lengthy been traded with out a cent winding up within the Gucci pocket. So Gucci itself will transfer gadgets—together with, as an example, those used within the photoshoot and marketing campaign for this very partnership—immediately by means of TheRealReal.
What we’re witnessing is a radical shift in the way in which customers and types take into consideration pre-owned clothes. Just like the drop mannequin, which has been closely adopted by the higher crust of the style world, official resale is simply one other cue luxurious labels have taken from streetwear (Right here they’ve even gone one step additional by proudly owning how gadgets transfer by means of the secondary market). Resale heavy-hitters like Supreme and Nike are proof that having clothes transfer on the secondary market generally is a good factor quite than a black eye. Seeing previous Jordans promote nicely solely makes individuals need them extra. “The good manufacturers—the daring and the early adopters—see that having a resale worth on your merchandise solely encourages anyone to buy it within the major market,” says Allison Sommer, TheRealReal’s senior director of strategic initiatives. Sommer factors out that formally standing behind used clothes additionally makes a loud assertion concerning the high quality of garments they produce: there will likely be a lot demand on your just-purchased Gucci product down the road, the venture implies, that you just’ll solely be its first proprietor.
Even when different luxurious manufacturers aren’t saying these efforts as proudly as Gucci, many are shifting in the identical course. Along with TheRealReal’s two current companions—Burberry and Stella McCartney—manufacturers like A.P.C. and Patagonia have hosted packages that encourage individuals to ship their used clothes again to be repaired and resold to a brand new loving dwelling. The H&M-owned COS in addition to shops Selfridges and Nordstrom have all launched packages centered round secondhand garments this yr. By the way, Levi’s additionally launched a buyback and resale program Monday. Since TheRealReal’s founding in 2011, it has saved a backchannel open for manufacturers to anonymously promote samples or extra inventory by means of. Sommer says requests to type this kind of partnership are up 20 instances this yr in comparison with final.
Many of those manufacturers are intensifying their push towards official resale due to the coronavirus pandemic. Coronavirus has woke up a brand new form of consciousness amongst customers, who’re extra than ever to know the way the clothes they purchase impacts the atmosphere and the individuals chargeable for designing, producing, and even transport these gadgets. TheRealReal relays that in a survey of shoppers, 50% reported that environmental considerations motivated them to consign. Moreover, a 3rd of shoppers responded that they purchase used clothes to keep away from frequenting fast-fashion manufacturers. Embracing resale is a manner of tacitly endorsing a better and extra environmentally pleasant manner of purchasing.
If Gucci’s partnership with TheRealReal succeeds, will probably be due to what’s promoting on the platform. Whereas Michele’s graphic-heavy floral, serpentine, and Donald Duck-starring gadgets garner the majority of the hype, the model’s iconic items are TheRealReal’s greatest hits. In 2020, the best-selling items from the model on TRR embody its traditional double-G leather-based belt and iconic horsebit loafers. In different phrases: legendary items which are just about proof against the ebbs and flows of trend. It’s extra proof that sustainable trend isn’t nearly upcycled clothes, recyclable supplies, or partnerships with resale platforms—it’s about nice design.