Not ones to miss a trick, the Kardashian’s Kloset offers fans the opportunity to own a piece of their idols’ wardrobe like Kim’s Hermes clutch for €5,400 or Kylie’s Manolo Blahnik boots for €630. Billionaire Kylie may not need the extra pocket money but she’s certainly showing her circular economy credentials and that’s exactly where retail is headed as younger shoppers put the breaks on fast fashion in a bid to reduce pollution and waste.
Plus, buying second hand is so much fun, while selling your pre-loved items clears wardrobe space and replenishes your fashion budget. Ya see? It loops, the circular economy which of course, poses something of a challenge for the current retail model.
‘If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em’ seems to be the response from traditional department stores with US giant Nordstrom last month joining Neiman Marcus, Macy’s, J.C Penny and Madewell by opening a section for second hand products.
“Retailers are realizing that the person who buys secondhand clothing is not somebody else’s customer – it’s their customer,”
says Anthony Marino, President of ThredUp, a re-commerce company described as Disruptor of the Year 2019. ThredUp claims the resale market has grown three times faster over three years and projects it will grow from €21.7 billion to €46 billion by 2023. Those Kanny Kardashians know this stuff.
My latest preoccupation is Vestiaire Collective, a pre-owned luxury goods app for buying and selling. Warning. It’s addictive. I’m actively encouraging screen-time for the kids so I can scroll, scroll, scroll through the latest arrivals. I bought a pair of Chloe shorts today for €35, it came out of the pot of runaway money for items I’ve flogged. I’ve only sold one leather jacket but I’m hooked. Why the hell did I give away all my good stuff after that Marie Kondo purging episode? I could have had a Chanel tweed jacket by now. Feck.
Even the Chinese, who like shiny, new things as a sign of prosperity, are getting in on the second hand action with younger generations taking their queue from social media influencers and celebrities. Nobody wants to hold on to their stuff anymore, even the Kardashians don’t have enough walk-in wardrobe space and besides they’ve already worn it for that Insta post so next. Let somebody else take a whirl and pass it on. The sharing economy has nudged its way into mainstream fashion and suddenly there’s a solution to the industry’s dirty and vacuous reputation. It’s in vogue to re-use again and again with fashion champs like Kate Middleton re-working that Alexander McQueen gown to the Baftas eight years after first wearing it on tour in Malaysia.
Kate’s Kloset would certainly garner a lot of attention, if she ever decided to launch her own resale site to raise funds for charity. Kensington Palace is just about big enough for her wardrobe but surely even Kate is ready to clear some space to make way for the new. Now if you don’t mind, I have some scrolling to do.