Looking beyond the current take-make-waste extractive industrial model, a circular economy aims to redefine growth, focusing on positive society-wide benefits. Ultimately, the circular economy is about addressing the root causes of economic, social, and environmental challenges by dealing with them at the design phase.
Indeed, decisions made during this early process influence what will happen downstream in terms of how a product, perhaps a piece of clothing, will be made, used, and eventually disposed of – and whether it will end up in an incinerator, landfill, or the ocean, or perhaps eventually sit unused in someone’s wardrobe.
The luxury industry is especially well-positioned to take this on because of their historic stand on quality and longevity – when well-care for, it’s not just a Patek Philippe that lasts more than one generation. Fashion label Alexander McQueen and online consignment retailer for used luxury goods Vestiaire Collective recently announce a pioneering collaboration aimed at empowering a move towards circular practices.
Supported by innovative technology, the collaboration marks the launch of Vestiaire’s new 'Brand Approved' programme and reinforces Alexander McQueen's growing commitment to the durability of luxury fashion. Known for its impeccable craftsmanship and creation of uniquely beautiful garments, McQueen's collections are designed to stand the test of time, which underwrites its commitment to sustainability in the fashion industry.
The system has been designed to be transparent, user-friendly, and effective. A select group of clients will be contacted by a sales representative at McQueen. Any pieces the clients wish to sell will be assessed, and if eligible, assigned a buy-back price. Once the pieces are received and authenticated, the client will be issued with a credit note with which they will immediately be able to purchase new items from some of the maison’s stores.
The used items, once processed by Vestiaire Collective, will carry an external NFC tag giving prospective new buyers access to information confirming the authenticity of the piece. They will be available to purchase on a dedicated Brand Approved page on Vestiaire’s app and site.
This model of buying back and reselling pieces fits well within McQueen’s existing sustainability model; not only does the brand work to support local artisans and mills throughout the United Kingdom, it also reuses fabrics frequently and donates leftover materials to student programs and young designers in the UK.
“We are delighted to be the first house in the world to collaborate with Vestiaire Collective on its Brand Approved program and to give beautifully crafted pieces a new story,” says CEO Emmanuel Gintzburger.
Founded in 2009 by Fanny Moizant and Sophie Hersan, Vestiaire has grown into a community of over 9 million members across 50 countries looking to give their luxury items a new home.
“There is an urgent need to address the way we currently produce and consume fashion,” says Moizant. “Our 'Brand Approved' programme offers a sustainable solution, reinforcing the importance of durability, whilst empowering first-hand fashion players to disrupt their linear business models and embrace circularity.” We look forward to more luxury fashion houses soon following suit.
Read more here.