Vestiaire Collective - Local Approach to Luxury Resale | Knowledge Hub | Circle Economy Foundation

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Business case
Vestiaire Collective - Local Approach to Luxury Resale

Vestiaire Collective is taking a local approach in the way it connects buyers and sellers of preloved premium and luxury fashion on its global marketplace. They set an ambitious target to be net positive by 2025 which would require a reduction of 25% in carbon activities. Transportation makes up 80% of this, so minimising the distance goods travel, as well as transportation method has been the focus to minimise overall impact. 


While buying second-hand significantly reduces the impact in comparison to purchasing a new item, Vestiaire Collective’s 2022 Impact Report recognises that there still is an impact. Vestiaire Collective set a goal in 2020 to be net positive by 2025 without compensation. To achieve this goal, 25% of carbon activities will need to be reduced, while maximising emissions avoided through a preloved purchase. 80% of Vestiaire Collective carbon footprint comes from shipping goods. As Vestiaire Collective sells high end luxury goods, an important aspect for buyers is authentication, where the seller sends the goods to Vestiaire who then sends them onto the buyer. This means there are two transportation journeys for each sale rather than one, increasing the environmental impact of a sale. 


Vestiaire Collective aims to minimise its impact by taking a local approach to resale, decreasing the distance goods have to travel by connecting buyers to sellers in their region. This requires global sellers at scale. The first way this has been encouraged is by opening local authentication centres, where there are now 6 locations in France, Hong Kong, Korea, the UK and two in the US. The second way has been through acquisition of US peer-to-peer platform Tradesy, which increased its US product count from 3 million to 5 million items. 

At a transactional level, Vestiaire is encouraging consumers to choose road rather than air delivery and side-stepping in-house authentication to ship directly, cutting out one journey. 


Progress so far has been positive. Opening the UK authentication centre was found to significantly increase local sales from 20 to 70 per cent, cutting the distance of international shipping. They have similarly been able to cut air transportation from 70% to 37% in Europe in the last two years. Moreover, it has been found that shipping by road and directly to the buyer can reduce the carbon footprint of each item by 50%. 

At the same time, the impact of buying preloved is significant. Shopping with Vestiaire Collective saves 90% of the environmental cost of a new item, including 17kg of CO2 saved, which is equivalent to driving a car 100KM. Perhaps most significantly, in a survey of 2363 customers from 57 countries, 70% of items purchased on Vestiaire Collective prevented a first-hand purchase. 

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Image by Laura Chouette from Unsplash

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