Recommerce, the selling of previously owned items through online marketplaces to buyers who reuse, recycle, or resell them, certainly isn’t new, it’s been around for decades with big players like ebay, Gumtree and Craigs List to name but a few. Then there were other players such as RealReal, Depop, and Poshmark who took advantage of the push away from fast fashion. But with the market growing exponentially over recent years, yesterday’s stuff is now big business. Trove recently raised $77million in funding to develop their white label online platform.
When you consider that about 100 billion items are produced for what was at last count, a population of 7.8 billion, the numbers really don’t stack up. In fact, they are a rather embarrassing indictment on the fashion industry and our insatiable appetite for consuming at any cost. Whichever way you look at it, buying a pre-owned item of clothing is more eco-friendly than producing a new one and we really do need to become more conscious consumers. Before fast fashion existed, we would shop for well designed, well-made clothes that would last years. It was sensible, sustainable and in the long run, more cost effective.
Here we take look at a few of the newer players in the re-commerce market.
As the very first ultra-luxury re-commerce brand of its kind, FASHIONPHILE is the brainchild of Founder and President, Sarah Davis. It began in 1999 with little more than a good idea and over 20 years later, FASHIONPHILE is now one of the world’s top resellers of pre-owned luxury and the exclusive re-commerce partner of Neiman Marcus.
Another Tomorrow sources its sustainable materials from around the world. The wool is primarily from a sheep farm in Tasmania, which is run by a former climate scientist-turned-shepherdess, who doesn’t send her sheep to be slaughtered at the end of their lives. This is just one example of why this B-corp certified company is making a difference.
Their authenticated resale page on their website is a place where you can put your pre-loved items back up for sale and receive a store credit in return, tapping into re-commerce and substantiating its popularity.
When a menswear obsessive calls something a ‘grail,’ they're referring to an item of clothing/sneaker/bag that is not only hard to come by but has appreciated in value since it was bought. Grailed was created in late 2013 when its founder recognised the lack of menswear reselling sites in comparison to womenswear. As of 2019, the site had 3.7 million active users and today exists as one of the largest menswear and resale marketplaces on the web, attracting some big-name investors.