Luxury is undergoing a sustainability revolution. In the 2020s, ethics and sustainability have shifted from corporate catchphrases to tangible ‘status goods’. To remain competitive, brands and retailers must demonstrate a transparent commitment to the environment and actively play a role in minimising waste and carbon emissions.
While governments are discussing regulations to help steer the fashion industry in a more environmentally friendly direction, consumers are the real driving force behind this pressing demand for sustainability. The financial implications of Covid-19 hindered extravagant spending habits and lockdown enabled people to reflect on the advantages of more minimalist, eco-conscious lifestyles.
Young consumers in particular are seeking to balance out their need to be seen in new clothing with the demand for sustainable fashion. Generation Z and their more adult predecessors, Millennials, are prioritising a conscious form of consumerism steered not by ‘greenwashing’ fast fashion brands but rather an increasingly eager participation in the rental and resale market.
To help brands and retailers cope with this structural change, recommerce platform Parker Lane Group (PLG) has founded Reloved, an online marketplace based on 10 years of resale lineage where you can either rent or buy luxury fashion.
Reloved’s rental model will allow consumers to experience, rather than own, high-quality clothing and, paired with the recommercing of luxury stock, the marketplace will help the retail sector move further towards a circular fashion economy.
Sustainable luxury fashion for the next generation
More than a third of Gen Z and millennials have said they would consider renting in the future, whether they have before or not. As the rental market is predicted to reach $2.08 billion by 2025, not only are designers starting to create with rental in mind, but young consumers are utilising rental to satisfy their appetite for newness and individualism.
Now that the traditional model of ownership is being challenged, Reloved’s rental model offers a new take on the fashion experience. It helps meet the conscious consumer’s desire to be seen in new outfits and connect to fashion without having to purchase it. The innovative new marketplace intrinsically satiates aforementioned Gen Z values.
Reloved’s marketplace is also more sustainable than other options. Alongside brand-new luxury products, it offers off-price ‘preloved’ and ‘reloved’ items that have been restored using expert quality control exercises. Ultimately, the life cycle of garments is extended, and carbon footprint is reduced.
The products are washed using eco-friendly methods and stored in an environment primed to arrive in pristine condition.
“With sustainability at the heart of everything we do, Reloved is an all-encompassing consumer model,” commented Lisa Panvino, Consultant - Strategic Initiatives of Parker Lane Group. “It enables customers, brands and retailers alike to embrace a sharing, circular economy,” she added.
The frictionless customer experience doesn’t end with the brand; Reloved aims to maintain, curate and cultivate it as it expands. It uses discovery commerce and shopping to help cater for a multi-faceted ecommerce experience.
Generating economic value from sustainability
As the next iteration of Parker Lane Group’s business, Reloved is an extension of the brand’s Resale as a Service (RaaS) solution. By extending the life cycle of recommerced products in a D2C market, sustainability translates to maximum value returns for both retailers and customers.
Covid-19 has exposed the issues of supply chain efficiency and resilience. It has demonstrated that keeping them mutually exclusive can lead to problems. The Reloved marketplace is a unique selling proposition (USP) which increases both efficiency and resilience because Parker Lane owns the entire stack of solutions. Even when stock hasn’t sold, instead of pushing it back to the retailer, Parker Lane uses innovative systems to capture value and find recommerce opportunities.
When inventory doesn’t sell directly to consumers through the Reloved marketplace, it is recommerced to wholesalers in secondary markets using the company’s B2B solution. Any remaining stock is then transported to Parker Lane’s in-house recycling plant. Overall, only 1% of stock is recycled – usually due to legal issues or irreparable damage.
Parker Lane simplifies complexity for brands because it deals with the entire problem end-to-end and provides a unified view of how stock is being recommerced and monetised – down to the last item. Anything that goes into Parker Lane’s supply chain doesn’t go out.
“Fashion is always changing, and so should the business of fashion,” commented Raffy Kassardjian, CEO of Parker Lane and founder of Reloved. “The goal is to allow brands to make a higher margin in a transparent and sustainable way.”
Reloved gifts consumers the freedom to choose while brands and retailers are released from the burden of managing returns and unsold inventory.
Reloved is a London-based luxury fashion marketplace which offers off-price reloved and preloved items for consumers to rent or purchase. Founded by Parker Lane Group, it is part of the recommerce company’s full stack Resale as a Service solution (RaaS) and has operations in Warsaw. Reloved is set to launch at the end of 2021. It is currently ramping up internal resources and looking for talent.