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The Rise of Second-Hand Fashion

The Rise of Second-Hand Fashion

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“Sustainability”, “circular economy” and “reuse” are now words of our daily language, and have begun to positively influence many choices not only related to the clothes we wear, but also to eating habits, up to the way of living and conceiving urban spaces.

In this scenario of widespread creativity and exciting new perspectives, the second-hand world seems to be back in the limelight, thanks to many brands, even those belonging to the most exclusive spheres of luxury, committed to find new ways of satisfying customers more conscious of their purchases, cuncurrently with assuring an earth-friendly production.

courtesy of Gucci

This is the case of Gucci, the absolute leader in awareness and inclusion campaigns for a freer and more aware fashion, which just recently launched a partnership with The RealReal, the online platform for the sale of used luxury items.

Gucci’s idea is part of a larger initiative, the promoter of which was Stella McCartney. In fact, the English designer had already settled a partnership with The RealReal in 2017, inviting consumers to reuse, extending the products’ life cycle and reducing excessive consumption.

After Stella McCartney’s, it was Burberry’s turn in 2019. The British luxury giant signed a partnership with The RealReal, whose collaboration not only allowed customers to benefit from used items, but also offered a personalized shopping experience in one of the US Burberry stores.

In this case, Gucci and The RealReal have decided to donate the proceeds to the non-profit organization One Tree Planted, in order to reinforce reforestation. The partnership will provide for the creation of a new e-commerce space entirely dedicated to the Florentine brand, where it will be possible to coinsign second-hand clothes and where Gucci itself will be able to include some items on the occasion.

As The RealReal’s CEO Julie Wainwright stated: “[…]Together we will focus even more on second-hand selling, hoping to encourage consumers to support circular economy, with the aim of reducing the carbon footprint”.

Following in the footsteps of the brands that preceded it, Levi’s also began its reuse adventure, thanks to the launch of its online platform exclusively for used jeans. Levi’s Second-hand, this is the name of the initiative, will allow customers to buy used jeans at a range of prices from $30 to $100. In addition, those consumers who resell their clothes will receive a card with $15-25 of expenditure to be used in future purchases.

Levi’s decision is commendable very on point, considering the growing demand on the second-hand market and, more importantly, the fact that huge amounts of water are used in order to make a pair of jeans and cause as many CO2 emissions. As for jeans that can no longer be worn, Levi’s is working with Renewcell, a company that recycles the fibers used in the making.

The universe of second-hand clothes, however, does not belong only to the luxury environment; Italy is currently witnessing a vintage revival, where dozens and dozens of small brands, emerging and not, are spot on the streets and in selected markets with used clothes and accessories, or even offering whole brand new collections designed from waste materials.

The culture of second-hand clothes has definitely regained the attention it deserves and in this moment of climatic and economic uncertainty represents one of the most valid and effectively feasible tools to tackle pollution and CO2 emissions, as well as favoring a circular economy and spreading positive behaviors for the benefit of the community and the planet.

Cover credit: The RealReal


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