Vestiaire Collective bans fast fashion after Ghana trip shows its impact
Vestiaire Collective has begun a ban on fast fashion on its resale platform with the company saying the move means people won’t be able to buy, sell or list such items with immediate effect.
The French resale pioneer said the “bold move” underlines its founding mission “to drive collective change towards a circular fashion economy”.
It believes that by banning fast fashion brands from its platform, it’s reinforcing the notion “of buying quality over quantity and encourages consumers to invest in craftsmanship at better prices”.
Chief Impact Officer Dounia Wone explained: “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.”
And as part of a three-year plan, it will enlist the expertise of an external agency to “create a robust set of ‘fast fashion’ criteria including low product quality, working conditions and carbon footprint. All brands that fit the criteria will subsequently be banned from the site”.
It added that the quick decision comes after a team of its employees went on an exploratory trip to Kantamanto in Ghana, the largest reuse and upcycling economy in the world. The visit was hosted by US-Ghana charity The Or, which works to boost circularity in fashion, reduce waste, and get a fairer deal for the communities handling the Western world’s cheap secondhand clothes.
“Roughly 15 million garments flow through the Kantamanto market every week. Of what is unbaled, 40% of items leave the market as waste, causing environmental devastation and plunging secondhand retailers into debt. This trip underlined the importance of taking immediate, radical action around fast fashion,” it said.
Vestiaire Collective also said it’s committed to finding and promoting practical solutions for the fast fashion items that its members already have. This includes “wearing, repairing, recycling, upcycling, and constructive donation strategies”.
It’s also hosting a delegation of retailers, campaigners and innovators from The Or Foundation in Paris. Members will meet with leading industry figures, policymakers and organisations within the circular fashion movement, while lobbying for change at a governmental level.
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