Secondhand has been generally neglected by luxury companies who often perceived the secondhand channel as degrading for the brand. In the past, the customers of these luxury brands considered it unacceptable to wear last season's pieces. Today, the consumer mindset has changed, unsold products are no longer disposed and considering the future of products in a more ethical and sustainable way is a growing trend.
Shopping and selling online through websites such as Vestiaire Collective, TheRealReal, Collector Square, HEWI or Stock X facilitates these exchanges. According to Euromonitor and Statista, 42% of consumers plan to spend more on secondhand clothes and more than 3 out of 5 consumers claimed environmental impact is an important factor in making purchasing decisions.
Stella McCartney (in 2018), Burberry and Gucci (late 2020) were the first major luxury brands to sign partnerships with TheRealReal and thus enter the second-hand market.
In September 2022, after weeks of suspense on social networks and mysterious murals in different capitals Alessandro Michele, Gucci’s creative director, revealed the concept of Vault.
The idea of this in-house store is to offer vintage Gucci pieces that have been collected by the company's archivists from individuals and collectors around the world; these items have been reconditioned and sometimes customized by Alessandro Michele. About 30 of these unique secondhand pieces are selected and offered each month.
Moreover, in November, 13 young emerging designers were selected to participate at GucciFest and now the brand offers a selection of their designs on Vault’s website.
By bringing together products from the past and today’s creativity in a single virtual space, the label is reinforcing its essence and its image of a brand with a rich heritage that is capable of constant reinvention.
At the beginning of this year, the predictions for the future of secondhand were impressive: resale is expected to grow 11 times faster than traditional retail.
The very essence of luxury encourages resale, in fact 2 of its core values are timelessness and durability.
As luxury brands respond to the increasing demand for a more circular economy, it is expected that in 2022 we will witness new collaborations between brands and clothing resale websites, as well as the arrival of new companies facilitating this exchange.