This week’s top sustainable fashion headlines:
Retailers are entering the secondhand market for their own products, buying them back, cleaning and repairing them, and then reselling them to consumers. Not only has the resale market become more chic as a result of environmental awareness but it is also a huge business opportunity. It is estimated that the resale market will hit $41 billion by 2022. North Face recently launched their collection of refurbished products, Ikea in Australia buys back used purchases that are in good shape for their “Furniture Take Back Service,” and Patagonia buys back used gear in exchange for credit. Retailers are reducing the impact of the disposal of their products while also creating new revenue models.
Arno wants to bring transparency to high-end design. When your package arrives there will be a little card with a photo of one of the artisans who made your new leather shoes, bag, or jacket. You’ll also find a pre-stamped postcard with a hand-drawn map on it of all the places in Tuscany where Arno makes its products. You can send the card to whomever you choose, but if you’d like to send a thank-you note to the man or woman who made the item you just purchased, you can send the postcard back to Arno’s founders, who will deliver it to the right person.
Apparel company Able wants to hold the fashion industry accountable for working conditions–by publishing the salaries of everyone in its supply chain. The brand that makes clothing, bags, shoes, and jewelry is a social enterprise designed to help women end intergenerational poverty. They are starting with their own data, and publishing the lowest wages paid to workers at its Nashville factory. Barrett Ward, founder and CEO, states“We want to be so authentic and transparent as to genuinely equip consumers to feel like they have the information they need in order to make a good choice.”
Rent the Runway has secured another $200 million in debt.With the new funds, Rent the Runway plans to expand the selection of clothing available to subscribers and invest in its logistics operations, which could improve the speed of sending out new orders and dealing with returns, one of the complaints of those with the unlimited tier subscription. The company chose a debt option over typical equity financing, of which it has already raised north of $200 million, because the loan lets the company “access funds when it makes sense for the business,” without diluting the stake of current investors and shareholders.
Elle UK has dedicated its entire September issue to sustainability, hoping to encourage the fashion industry to follow suit by teaming up with several important voices in the field. The issue share an outline of changes that the publication plans to make in order to be more ethical. This includes using their platforms to raise awareness about climate issues, using recycled props in photoshoots, and eliminating single use plastics on photoshoots and at the office. For this issue Elle also conducted a study with their audience that found 90% of women want to know more about sustainability in the industry.
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