Spotlighting secondhand retail strategies on National Thrift Day

The golden age of thrifting may be behind us, but the circular fashion industry is just getting started. Since today is National Thrift Day, we’re taking a look at some secondhand initiatives that brands in the youth culture space are implementing to better appeal to Gen Z and their distinctly sustainable values.


In hopes of going fully circular by 2030, Tommy Hilfiger is launching a resale program that allows consumers to exchange used clothing for shopping credit. The project, powered by ThredUp’s Resale-as-a-Service (RaaS) software, allows shoppers to print prepaid shipping labels from tommy.thredup.com, fill boxes with clothes from any brand, and ship to thredUP for free. If any of the items are selected for resale, customers then receive Tommy Hilfiger shopping credit that can be used online or in-store. The brand has established itself as a Gen Z favorite – with the label’s circa-Y2K logomania gear especially in demand – making the dedicated Tommy Hilfiger/ThredUp online storefront especially attractive to young consumers.


In the four years since The North Face debuted its resale platform, Renewed, the brand’s secondhand business has grown in sales every year. Now, the outerwear brand – which has seen a huge resurgence among young people thanks to the popularity of its classic Nuptsepuffer – hopes to make resale an even bigger focus through 2023, aiming to increase annual resale sales by a double-digit percentage. To do so, they’re doubling down on their circular fashion model by teaming up with Tersus, which facilitates waterless cleaning, repairs, and shipping logistics of the refurbished products, and Archive, a retail tech company that helped create a more immersive secondhand e-commerce experience, specifically when it comes to explaining garment lifecycles.


Revolve, the retailer of choice for Gen Z influencers, launched a buyback program for Fwrd, the company’s high-end offshoot. Since July, customers have been able to trade in handbags in “excellent or very good condition” purchased from Fwrd within the last year for money towards a new one. Once Revolve has authenticated the purchase (via vetted purchase history), sellers receive a credit of 50% of the original purchase price – no small change when you’re talking about a $2,000 purse. Purses that are bought back are re-sold on Fwrd at 25%-50% less than the initial retail cost. The program will offer a wide range of luxury labels, from Bottega Veneta to Saint Laurent to Givenchy, some of which will be from the own closet of Kendall Jenner, currently Fwrd’s creative director.

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