The co-founders weigh in on why pre-loved fashion is king.
The impact the circularity movement has had on fashion in the last two years cannot be denied.
And in the battle for a fairer, more sustainable way of enjoying fashion - and selling unwanted pieces - pre-loved website Vestiaire Collective has been poised - chicly - on the front line.
The Vestiaire Collective Story
Founded in 2009 by Fanny Moizant and Sophie Hersan along with four other French co-founders, the brand’s premise is straightforward: to encourage shoppers to consume less, better and smarter. Hence, Vestiaire Collective was born as a trusted environment to buy and sell pre-loved designer pieces online. In many ways, it was answering the needs of its community.
“At the time we knew a lot of friends who had incredible designer pieces they no longer used sat in their wardrobes but had nowhere suitable to sell them,” says the French-born Moizant, who acquired her love of fashion through working in her mother’s boutique in the South of France.
The concept for Vestiaire Collective was born from this gap in the market along with our desire to place circularity at the heart of the fashion system, which, looking back, was quite pioneering at the time.
And, as the tide turned away from fast fashion, it wasn’t long before the fashion pack caught on either. “People have started to understand that the idea of sustainability is not just a ‘trend’ and that action is needed, the benefits of buying and selling pre-loved have started to get airtime,” chimes Hersan.
All For The Thrill Of It
Since then, Vestiaire Collective’s fan base has grown from fashion insiders to a global community of nine million followers. Conscious kudos aside, the appeal is all in the thrill of the chase, according to Hersan. “The idea that you’re on a treasure hunt rather than searching for your daily fashion fix appeals. I think more and more people are moving away from the convenience of fast fashion and are starting to consider the longevity of an item. Also, resale sites like Vestiaire Collective mean that if you spend a bit more on an item you always have the option to resell it and reinvest.”
To this, Moizant adds: “It is dual-sided really, we know that a lot of consumers come to us for luxury pieces at more accessible price points, but you have those who might not have considered pre-loved before and are now willing to invest in a quality item over something throw away.
From a personal perspective, I find it exciting when you get your hands on unique and sold out pieces and know you don’t always have to buy new.
Influence For Good
Do we still have a long way to go? Essentially, yes. “It’s still quite a complex situation,” Moizant explains. “According to reports, sustainability and circular fashion are key issues for today’s fashion consumers, especially the younger generations but we can also see fast-fashion brands thriving amongst millennials and Gen Z, so there are clear conflicts between values and behaviour.” There is hope on the horizon: “The more that influential profiles get behind brands that are promoting sustainability in fashion the better."
We try to align with those that share similar values that can help us educate and encourage new behaviours that support a more sustainable future.
Shop Fanny and Sophie's Pre-Loved Picks...
Chanel Classique Leather Bag, €2,649, Vestiaire Collective - SHOP
Loewe Gold Metal Bracelet, €108, Vestiaire Collective - SHOP
Celine Blue Jean, €480, Vestiaire Collective - SHOP
Gucci Knit, €203, Vestiaire Collective - SHOP
Nike X Sacaï Trainers, €330, Vestiaire Collective - SHOP