Online Resale is Paramount to the Future Success of Retailers and Brands

Sustainability is top of mind across the globe with the covid pandemic creating an even greater interest and need. Disruptions to supply chains, the inability to shop in person and the unavailability of products brought increased the significance of businesses and individuals adopting a sustainability mindset.

Nowhere is this more evident than in the massive growth of resale activity within the retail space. According to industry expert Carol Spieckerman, President of Spieckerman Retail, “retailers and brands are making much more aggressive and long-term, concrete commitments to sustainability. They have to because they know now that it’s critical to onboarding new generations of shoppers that care about sustainability.”

thredUP is at the forefront of the online resale industry and is helping drive the latest surge in retail partnerships to sell discounted items. The company has built a unique platform for individuals to buy and sell gently used clothing and accessories.

In a recent interview, Pooja Sethi, Senior Vice President and General Manager of the resale-as-a-service® provider noted, “five years ago, brands and retailers wouldn’t even answer thredUP’s call.” (eMarketer). She continued to note that since joining thredUP in 2021 “the conversation has shifted from why I should get into resale to how.”

This can be seen by the company’s recent partnership with Target, which adds to its growing list of brand names, including Gap, Walmart, Rent the Runway, eBay, and Crocs. Increasing sustainability efforts is particularly important for clothing brands as fashion is responsible for 4% of greenhouse gas emissions while the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) estimates that Americans alone create 16M tons of textile waste annually.

Spieckerman highlights the role thredUP can play in helping retailers and brands successfully join the resale space. “In the resale platform business, it really is thredUP and everyone else.” thredUP’s experience gives them expertise status. “They know how to price the goods. They know how to efficiently process single item, used clothing.”

Whichever direction a retailer or brand decides to go, it is clear that sustainability must be at the top of a company’s priority list if they wish to stay relevant and profitable moving forward.

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