Menu Menu

Fashion reseller Vestiaire Collective is dumping fast fashion

The luxury second-hand site has launched a striking campaign to announce they’re banning fast fashion giants Zara, Uniqlo, and H&M. 

Vestiaire Collective has been a solid advocate for the green-fashion market since its inception in 2009.

At the time, it was one of the first online retailers that specialised solely in second-hand luxury brands, and today remains one of the biggest.

Last week it announced it would be banning fast fashion giants Zara, H&M, and Uniqlo from its online stores, a significant move as all three brands dominate the high street.

The decision is aimed at combating the environmental and ethical issues associated with fast fashion, and – along with its companion campaign – has garnered both praise and criticism.

Of course, a staunch sustainability advocate like Vestiaire was unlikely to make a quiet announcement. Instead, the brand has orchestrated a campaign featuring AR imagery of clothes waste falling across various major cities.

The videos are paired with startling statistics around fashion waste, including the headline ‘92 millions of textile waste is discarded every year. That’s enough to fill… the Eiffel Tower every day.’

This marks the second year in a three-year rollout to ban all fast fashion from Vestiaire’s site. Last November, the company announced its first selection of blacklisted brands including Asos, Boohoo, Miss Selfridge, Missguided, Nasty Gal, Pretty Little Thing, Shein and more.

The addition of Zara, H&M and Uniqlo comes as fashion waste continues to rise, urging drastic action.

To decide which retailers to cut, Vestiaire worked with nine industry experts including Orsola de Castro, co-founder of Fashion Revolution, to build a new framework defining fast fashion on five criteria.

These include the repairability of items, how many items a brand launches per year, and the speed to market.

Vestiaire’s campaign comes ahead of Black Friday, one of the biggest and (increasingly) controversial sales in the fashion calendar. During this period, brands will allow prices to plummet and encourage mass spending. This ultimately leads to increased waste and land-filled junk.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Vestiaire Collective (@vestiaireco)

In a press release, Vestiaire shared that last year’s ban on fast fashion brands had seen ‘70% of members impacted by the ban [coming] back to the platform to shop for better quality items.’

But while the campaign has received a lot of love on social media, some people are criticising the company for excluding poorer shoppers from the discussion.

One user highlighted that calling the banned brands low cost came from a ‘certain privilege’, while another questioned why Vestiaire was seemingly turning a blind eye to the wasteful actions of luxury brands like Hermés and Louis Vuitton. Both brands have been called out for burning products in an effort to maintain exclusivity.

There’s also the question of re-sale. If Vestiaire is denying shoppers the opportunity to buy high-street brands second-hand (arguably the most sustainable way to shop if those are the only brands they can afford) then are they only creating fewer avenues for conscious purchases?

It’s certainly worth thinking about. But ultimately, banning major fast fashion retailers sends a bigger and more powerful message. And weeding out the most unethical brands will only create more space for affordable, ethical, and sustainable brands across the board.

And as consumers gear up for Black Friday deals, the ban on fast fashion giants forces them to reconsider their choices.

The campaign serves as a counter-narrative to the impulse buying encouraged by mega-sales events, urging consumers to make thoughtful and sustainable choices instead of succumbing to the pressure of fleeting discounts.

The campaign’s success on social media reflects a growing awareness and concern for the environmental impact of fashion.

And ultimately, Vestiaire’s decision is not just a business move – it’s a powerful statement that challenges industry norms. Let’s hope other brands are brave enough to follow.