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Resale platform Vestiaire Collective to stop selling fast fashion items

By Huw Hughes

23 Nov 2022

Fashion

Image: Vestiaire Collective

Second-hand fashion giant Vestiaire Collective has announced it will ban all fast fashion products from its platform from November 22 ahead of Black Friday.

The Paris-based company said the move is part of its “mission to drive collective change towards a circular fashion economy”, and “reinforces the notion of buying quality over quantity and encourages consumers to invest in craftsmanship at better prices”.

Vestiaire Collective said it has a three-year plan which includes enlisting an external agency to create “a robust set of ‘fast fashion’ criteria including low product quality, working conditions and carbon footprint”. Brands that fit the criteria will be banned from the site.

But Vestiaire Collective told FashionUnited that an initial list of banned brands has already been made. They include Shein, Asos, Atmosphère, Boohoo, Burton, Coast, Dorothy Perkins, Fashion Nova, Karen Millen, Miss Selfridge, Missguided, Na-Kd, Nasty Gal, Oasis, Pretty Little Things, Topman, Topshop.

“Fast fashion has no value, and even less in resale,” Vestiaire Collective’s chief impact officer Dounia Wone said in a statement. “We’ve taken this step because we don’t want to be complicit in this industry which has a tremendous environmental and social impact.”

Wone said the current system “encourages overproduction and overconsumption of low quality items and generates huge amounts of fashion waste”.

It is an interesting move by Vestiaire Collective, which has grown quickly in recent years at the forefront of the burgeoning resale market, fueled by more environmentally-conscious younger consumers.

While fast fashion is unarguably harmful to the environment, many proponents of the resale market argue that all fashion should be reworn rather than thrown away, including fast fashion.

Luxury appeal

The move to ban fast fashion garments will likely also better position Vestiaire Collective in the increasingly competitive upmarket resale segment, alongside the likes of The RealReal, The Outnet, and Mytheresa.

Fast fashion brands are commonly sold at lower budget resale platforms, such as Depop, Poshmark, and Vinted.

Vestiaire Collective said that in order to avoid creating more waste through its ban, it is “committed to finding and promoting practical solutions for the fast fashion items that its members already have”, including wearing, repairing, recycling, upcycling, and constructive donation strategies.

The company said its latest decision came after a team of employees visited Kantamanto in Ghana, the largest reuse and upcycling economy in the world.

Roughly 15 million garments pass through the Kantamanto market each week, according to Vestiaire Collective, with 40 percent of unbaled items leaving the market as waste.

“This trip underlined the importance of taking immediate, radical action around fast fashion,” Vestiaire Collective said.

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