Through its partnership with ThredUp, Madewell has dabbled in resale and used goods over the past three months, making it one of a growing number of brands wanting more control over the way their products are sold. products are resold.
Most of the time, these efforts have been modest, such as adding a second-hand shelf in six stores and selling resale online. But with its temporary store focused on facilitating circularity, which opened in Brooklyn on Thursday, the brand is looking to test more ways to integrate resale into its business.
The store, which will be open until October 31, sells pre-owned Madewell products for $ 10 to $ 40. It differs from Madewell’s past resale efforts in several ways: on the one hand, it is 100% stocked with second-hand products, unlike the small resale sections that exist in six of its stores. The product is taken from ThredUp’s inventory. The store also includes ThredUp kits, allowing customers to send their unwanted clothes to ThredUp for cash or Madewell store credit. Second, according to Liz Hershfield, SVP and Sustainability Manager at Madewell, education plays a major role in the new circular store setup.
The walls of the store display statistics on garment waste and its impact on the environment. There are also store-wide QR code stations that link to online guides on the environmental impacts of resale.
âThere is so much a customer wants to know before making a purchase, especially if they are buying used parts,â Hershfield said. “Where does it come from? What quality is it? How do we take care of it so that it can be resold? That’s why education was so important to us.
Similarly, the store featured both Madewell and ThredUp brands. Although Madewell was behind the design and set-up of the store, ThredUp provided the product. Hershfield said it was intentional, as ThredUp is the one with all the resale expertise. Online and offline, Madewell pays an undisclosed amount to ThredUp for the use of its âresale as a serviceâ offering, while ThredUp handles the logistics of collecting, processing and cataloging the merchandise.
âThey give us a lot of credibility in space,â she said.
The latest new room in the store is a touch-up and mending station, something no Madewell store currently has. Hershfield said it was not decided whether something similar would end up in permanent Madewell stores; the purpose of the circular store is to determine which features work and can migrate to the rest of the business.
âWe’re still learning a lot,â Hershfield said. âThat was the point of launching this. The pop-up is really the first thing we did. My point of view is to just say yes to everything. Yes to changes, yes to education. We want to try out all possible resale variations to find out what works.
ThredUp recently forged partnerships, working with Madewell, Vera Bradley, Fabletics and Farfetch, all over the past four months. Typically, the brand has a ThredUp powered resale section on their site, as well as a dedicated section on ThredUp’s online store that is listed on their home page. Resale is a complicated beast for a brand to set up on its own, and ThredUp is benefiting from the growing popularity of brand-specific resale because it can power these services. The resale business increased its revenue to $ 186 million last year, and it is looking for ways to stay competitive with other fast growing resale businesses like Poshmark.
âAt ThredUP, we envision a future where all retailers embrace savings and we collectively reuse more than we produce again,â said Erin Wallace, vice president of integrated marketing at ThredUp. âChoosing the occasion rather than new struggles against overproduction and keeps clothing in use and out of landfills. In partnership with retailers, we aim to create positive change within the industry and create a more circular future for fashion.