Resale took off in 2020: brands from Levi’s to H&M-owned Cos turned to white-label platforms to launch in-house resale programmes, and luxury resale is projected to grow up to 20 per cent each year for the next five years, according to the Boston Consulting Group.
The RealReal, which launched a partnership with Gucci this year, says it’s being “proactively approached by more and more brands”, and its vendor channel saw a 46 per cent increase in items consigned by brands during Covid-19. “We’re seeing the end of the misperception that resale cannibalises the primary market, and shifting to a new era where brands are embracing circularity,” says founder and CEO Julie Wainwright. “This time of uncertainty is creating a necessary reset in the world of fashion.”
It was the growth of third-party resale platforms like The RealReal and Thredup that also helped to increase the appeal of resale for brands themselves, says Andy Ruben, CEO of Trove, which operates resale on behalf of its partner brands (the company was formerly called Yerdle). The brands they partner with, such as Levi’s and Eileen Fisher, saw between 200 and 300 per cent year-on-year growth, says Ruben.