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Farfetch launches resale platform

Luxury fashion platform Farfetch will today launch a pilot resale programme for designer handbags as part of its sustainability strategy.

Farfetch Second Life will allow customers to trade “pre-loved” luxury bags in exchange for credits that can be used on future Farfetch purchases.

The retailer has worked with vintage accessory and apparel curator Upteam, previously part of its Dream Assembly technology accelerator programme, on the resale pilot. Users will submit information and photographs of the bags they are selling, which will be reviewed by Farfetch’s partner. The partner will then propose a price within two business days. If accepted, a free courier collects the item and Farfetch adds credits to the customer’s account.

Giorgio Belloli, chief commercial and sustainability officer at Farfetch, said: “Luxury fashion is increasingly aligned with sustainable fashion. Resale is an area of increasing interest for our customers. Like the online luxury market, the pre-owned luxury market is growing rapidly, and is likely to double in size to reach $51bn over the next five years. A luxury re-sale programme like Farfetch Second Life allows us to enter this market and test the demand of Farfetch customers for this kind of service.”

Farfetch has also joined the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s Make Fashion Circular initiative, which seeks to drive collaboration between stakeholders to create a greener fashion industry.

The initiative focuses on three key areas: creating new business models that keep clothes in use, ensuring clothes are made from safe and renewable inputs and recycling clothes.

Other participants in the initiative include Burberry, the H&M Group, Asos, Adidas and Stella McCartney.

Tom berry, director of sustainable business at farfetch. image courtesy of farfetch

Five minutes: Tom Berry, Farfetch’s global director of sustainable business

Why is Farfetch focusing on sustainability?

I joined the business about a year ago from [personal care specialist] Kimberly-Clark – I was excited to join back then, and I’ve only become more excited about the opportunities for sustainability within Farfetch. There are so many different things we can do. There’s a clearly a problem when it comes to sustainability within this industry and a clear recognition that we need to do more. We’re at the start of that journey, so we spent a lot of last year thinking about the key things we should be working on. Farfetch comes from a mixture of fashion and technology with a mission to reinvent the way that fashion operates – and that’s perfect when it comes to applying sustainability. I’m very clear that we should be building sustainability into the way that Farfetch operates as a business, so looking for the commercial opportunities that sustainability offers, not just having sustainability off to one side of the business as a nice CSR effort. The more we can align what we’re doing to work more sustainability with the growth of Farfetch, the better.

Where have you focused your sustainability efforts so far?

Sustainability is becoming much more of a marker of what good fashion is, particularly in luxury, but it can be really hard for consumers to know what sustainability means from a product perspective. We’re in a unique position to try and solve that for our customers because of our model and the fact we have great brand depth. We can help drive transparency between consumers and brands by offering better information to encourage people to buy more consciously. Part of that is our Positively Conscious offering, which launched for Earth Day. We teamed up with start-up Good on You to rate products and brands across three areas: environmental, social and animal welfare.

We need to change the business model that fashion is based on and again, Farfetch is in an amazing position to drive change. We’ve already reinvented the way people shop and we can do more through different means.

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