Sustainable fashion originated in the 1950s when popularity shopping at second-hand stores struck the hippie culture and wearing someone else’s old as your new was perceived as interesting. However, with a boom in fast fashion (the term coined by New York Times in the 1990s), brands alike H&M and Zara began to trend due to their cheap price tag and speedy reaction to trending fashion and remain popular today in 2021. Fast fashion is far from similar to the luxury market, however consumerism in both these socio-economic target markets are still too high as we strive for a greener future.
Gen Z and Millennial consumers are familiar with designer brands alike Gucci, Louis Vuitton and Prada as fashion bloggers and influencers offer free promotion of the brands via their social media platforms and therefore shatter the once curtained way of living. A way in which department stores within the UK are looking at how to entertain those with a lower income, whilst attempting to strive for a more sustainable future is by selling second-hand luxury fashion in store and online through collaborations with consignment businesses.
Selfridges has implemented a ‘Resellfridges’ department dedicated to second-hand designer labels and other services include repairs and guaranteed authentication to ensure your product is both genuine and will last you long-term. Popularity in vintage designer pieces grew when Fendi, Prada and Dior re-released some of their iconic customer favourites. The baguette, re-edition 2005 and saddle all being released in fresher colourways and sleeker more streamline designs to entice a wider audience. However, the re-releases also came with a higher price tag. With consumers wanting to achieve a similar look to the trending pieces they saw on their favourite influencers and celebrities, they began to explore alternative cheaper options such as online consignment stores.
Vestiaire Collective appears to be a fan favourite as they charge small fees for authentication guarantees and you can purchase and sell designer goods within the comfort of your own home. Vestiaire Collective has worked with not only Selfridges to introduce a more attainable way for consumers to shop second-hand luxury but have recently collaborated with fashion department store Printemps in Paris for a whole floor dedicated to vintage designer pieces. Is this the beginning of a revolution for all department stores?
Written by Callum Graham