The Vestiaire Collective, a French fashion resale platform, announced that it will ban the purchase, sale, or listing of fast fashion items on its platform from today.
The list of banned fast fashion brands includes Asos, Atmosphere, Boohoo, Burton, Cider, Coast, Dorothy Perkins, Fashion Nova, Karen Millen, Miss Selfridge, Missguided, Na-kd, Nasty Gal, Oasis, Pretty Little Thing, Shein, Tezenis, Topman, and Topshop.
The company said that in the past 12 months, about 5% of the products listed on its platform were from fast-fashion brands such as Shien, Pretty Little Thing, and Asos.
The reason they decided to ban fast fashion is to encourage consumers to prioritize “quality over quantity” and invest in craftsmanship at a better price.
Vestiaire president and co-founder Fanny Moizant said that we wanted to reduce waste in people’s wardrobes, and that waste is mainly coming from fast fashion because it has no value, and as a consequence very little resale value.
Regarding Vestiaire members who currently own fast fashion items, the company said in a statement: “committed to finding and promoting practical solutions for the fast fashion items that its members already have. This includes wearing, repairing, recycling, up-cycling, and constructive donation strategies”.
Over the past few years, as a number of resale platforms have entered the market and competition has intensified for a limited customer base, the Vestiaire Collective has strengthened its differentiation from its competitors.
In another view, the reason the company banned fast fashion transactions on the platform might be “because it will be more profitable by handling only high-priced products”, however, Moizant stated the fast-fashion ban has “nothing to do with the path to profitability” and the company hasn’t calculated how the move will affect business. “It’s a big, value-driven decision,”
Vestiaire is also known as a certified B-corp corporation and has also been strengthening its commitment to sustainability.
Over the next three years, Vestiaire will expand the list of banned fast fashion brands from trading on our platform. They also plan to work with an external consultant to establish a set of gradual standards that include metrics such as product quality, carbon footprint, and supply chain working conditions.
At the same time, the company expects to achieve the increased data visibility needed to make this happen, and new regulations on product labeling across Europe.
Vestiaire’s chief impact officer Dounia Wone said: “Fast fashion has no value, and even less in resale. We’ve taken this step because we don’t want to be complicit in this industry which has a tremendous environmental and social impact. The current system encourages overproduction and overconsumption of low-quality items and generates huge amounts of fashion waste.”
This October, the Vestiaire team visited Kantamanto market in Ghana with The Or Foundation. The Kantamanto market in Ghana is one of the world’s largest second-hand markets and a destination for millions of discarded clothing items from Europe. According to a study in 2016, about 40% of the more than 15 million items of clothing that arrive at the Kantamanto market each week and most of them are of such poor quality that end up in landfills immediately.
Currently, the Vestiaire team is cooperating with The Or Foundation which is a US-based charity working to create a “justice-led circular economy” a charitable organization active in this Kantamanto market. They are proceeding with a policy document to crack down on the clothing waste that is generated in large quantities every year from the fashion industry.
A Greenpeace 2022 report has found that fast fashion fuels the second-hand clothing trade, which in turn fuels the dumping of textile waste. Thus, it would be said that Vestiaire’s visit to the Cantamante market “underlined the importance of taking immediate, radical action around fast fashion”.