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Vestiaire Collective bans the resale of fast fashion on its platform

Seeking to fight waste and encourage consumers to buy ‘quality over quantity,’ the pre-loved online marketplace has announced it will now prohibit brands including ASOS, boohoo, and SHEIN from being bought, sold, or listed by its users.

Buying second-hand clothing has never been easier or more common.

Offering consumers a way to get money back for former purchases and simultaneously reduce their carbon footprint by giving garments a new lease of life instead of sending them to landfill, platforms offering this service have soared in popularity.

Consistent demand on lower-end sites like Depop, Vinted, and eBay, as well as higher-end brands including By Rotation, Hurr, and The Real Real, mean the pre-loved industry is expected to be worth $84 billion by 2030.

But with dropshipping still rampant, throwaway culture thriving, and seemingly no end in sight to the trend-driven mass-production that’s destroying our planet, resale simply isn’t enough.

Vestiaire Collective has recently decided to prohibit fast fashion brands from being bought, sold, or listed on its global platform as a result of this mounting necessity to be more responsible.

These include ASOS, boohoo, Miss Selfridge, Nasty Gal, and SHEIN, among many – many – others.

Known best for its impressive range of designer goods, the marketplace’s move comes hot on the heels of COP27, where delegates discussed fashion’s impact on the climate and concluded that ‘there is a systemic problem in our economy that is not incentivising circularity and recycling to happen.’

It’s also right on time for Black Friday, an annual event intended to promote impulse spending.

Becoming the first and only company of its kind to enforce such a rule, the ban is in an effort to fight waste and encourage consumers to buy ‘quality over quantity.’

‘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,’ said the certified B-Corp corporation’s chief impact officer, Dounia Wone, in a statement.

‘The current system encourages overproduction and overconsumption of low quality items and generates huge amounts of textile waste. It’s time we took immediate, radical action against it.’

Yet while the online response to this has so far been largely positive, there are two glaring problems that activists refuse to let slide.

For starters, because Vestiaire Collective is at the upper end of resale, they argue that its eviction of the Pretty Little Things of this world will barely make a dent.

Secondly, this sustainability ploy could have the opposite effect of what it’s pushing for, as users might be inclined to dispose of their clothes prematurely rather than try to resell them.

‘Honestly disappointed in this! Banning fast fashion sends it to LANDFILL SOONER,’ posted model Scott Staniland on Instagram.

‘It also puts the money back into the pockets of fast fashion brands because they’ll just open their own resale platforms. Feels elitist to me.’

To quell these specific concerns, Vestiaire Collective has additionally committed to finding practical solutions such as wearing, repairing, recycling, upcycling, and constructive donation strategies.

And regardless of these complications, it’s hard not to view progress as positive in the face our current crisis, which is being significantly catapulted forward by our insatiable shopping habits.


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