Everyone knows that environmental concerns are a huge game-changer for the fashion industry. With high-fashion brands like Stella McCartney and Gucci leading the charge on ethically and environmentally-sound luxury, there seems to be a low, but steady rumble of change.
But there’s another powerful and silent movement underlying today’s fashion scenario. According to a recent study by the Boston Consulting Group, pre-loved apparel, footwear, and accessories represent $30 billion to $40 Billion in value worldwide. While advocacy from huge celebrities like Sarah Jessica Parker and Anne Hathway is helping fuel the movement, buying pre-loved items has some major, personal-level advantages you just cannot ignore. So, what’s in it for you? Let’s explore the top 5 reasons you should consider going pre-loved this Earth Hour.
Although the idea of buying pre-loved goods was previously subject to raised eyebrows, the concept is now welcomed with open arms. The biggest motivator for the shift in mindset is sustainability!
Right now, the apparel industry accounts for 10% of global carbon emissions. So, if you are looking to adopt smart consumption philosophy, owning a pre-loved luxury item is a great pedestal for a jump-start. And we’ve all been in the good company ever since the early 2000s, when Julia Roberts broke the rules and wore an iconic, pre-owned Valentino dress to the Oscars, thereby thrusting secondhand fashion into the spotlight!
Sustainable fashion aims to right a variety of perceived “wrongs” in the fashion industry. There are two approaches to this on a consumer-level – #1 trade the goods you no longer want and #2 go pre-loved! You are not only keeping quality goods away from landfills but also extending their life cycle by shopping.
Reason #2 Supporting Responsible Businesses
A recent report published on Nature Reviews Earth & Environment indicates that the fashion industry is responsible for over 92 million tonnes of waste produced per year and 79 trillion liters of water consumed. If you’re appalled by the numbers, don’t worry, there is something we can all do, on a personal level, to make a difference – buy from brands that invest in responsible production and supply-chain choices.
This summer’s “Fashion Pact” was a momentous step in the right direction. Luxury names such as Chanel, Prada, Ralph Lauren, and even some fast-fashion brands like H&M pledged to combat the environmental crisis our planet faces.
Many luxury brands are investing more time and resources in finding sustainable alternatives and disrupting the traditional linear production model. Right from forward-thinkers like Iris Van Herpen, who uses 3D printing and nanorobotics to reduce fabric waste, to biodegradable denim pieces by Candiani – the ‘greenest’ denim mills in the world, to Eileen Fishers’ signature fabric: Silk Georgette Crepe!
Responsible brands are the future, and we can all join the cause by purchasing from them. After all, the advantages extend beyond just the environment, as we will see below.
Reason #3 Durable and Timeless
When it comes to luxury purchases, what you are essentially paying for is the timeless skill, hours, heritage materials (like vicuna, cashmere, or yak), and exclusivity that go into the production of an item.
A luxury watch like an Audemars Piguet is a heritage piece, capable of being passed down to generations due to its high-quality craftsmanship. Similarly, a designer handbag can last you a lifetime. Whereas, a replica made of inexpensive materials and quick production methods would probably not outlive the season.
The temptation is easy to understand – a replica is a quick way to elevate anyone’s status. But most replicas, whether a bag, a watch, or any clothing item carry telltale signs – whether it is low-quality material, poor stitching, and construction, or uneven colors and dyes. Authentic designers take pride in their craft, and rightly so! It can take up to 18 hours of production involving 15 different people just to make a single Chanel Bag. After all, it’s a matter of longevity and prestige. The kind of prestige that deserves a re-buy. These items are also fairly easy to repair, which serves as another advantage of buying authentic first-hand or pre-loved luxury pieces.
Reason #4 Staying on-trend
Anyone who aspires to own a designer handbag is well aware of the year-long waiting list! An easier way to get your hands on unique designer pieces is to go in for a pre-loved item. This alternative fashion consumption lets you stay on-trend, keeping items that belong to this season within easy reach! Since they’re not mass-produced, these items are still very unique and this cost-effective practice will let you renew your wardrobe as many times as you would like and turn your iconic purchases into an investment. Even buying from ultra-luxury brands is now within your reach – that’s probably why the demand for our pre-loved Hermes Birkin bags has increased exponentially.
The ever-mindful Millennials & Gen Z’ers have a unique consumer mindset –“Buy, sell, repeat” is the new motto. The practice of renewing encourages and develops a healthy recycling community if more people opt for pre-loved goods, putting “Re-use” at the nexus of a lot of trends.
Reason #5 Affordability
Yes, a pre-loved luxury item can accommodate greater buying power, but that is without compromising on its quality. If you’re open to purchasing pre-loved items, think of yourself as belonging to a community of like-minded appreciators of quality and unafflicted by irresponsible consumerism. And remember, it is a community that is growing at a CAGR of 15%-20% annually that offers a win-win-win for buyers, brands, and resellers.
The appeal for these goods comes mainly from the ability to balance prices with uncompromised durability and unique items. Pre-loved items are subject to even more intense scrutiny than their unbranded/replicated counterparts. The key is to choose a platform that offers absolute transparency, vouch for an item’s authenticity, and determine the right resale value.
We hope we’ve given you reason enough to consider going pre-loved. You can still stay “green” while rocking your unique style. All you need to do is hit up the right spots for certified pre-loved items from luxury brands. So, what change are you making this Earth Hour?