In the newly-created role, Seth Levey will oversee ThredUp’s efforts to influence policy initiatives that reduce fashion’s impact on the planet.
Levey will lead government affairs and policy initiatives that drive impact by encouraging adoption of circular business models and will also oversee the company’s broader environmental, social, and governance (ESG) efforts. Levey will report to chief legal officer, Alon Rotem.
“Extending the life of clothing can significantly reduce fashion’s impact on our world,” says ThredUp CEO James Reinhart. “There is a long history of government action to curb pollutive industries; we have seen regulation and incentives for everything from plastic bags to electric vehicles. At ThredUp, we believe circular fashion is the next frontier in sustainable policy, and I’m thrilled to welcome Seth Levey to our team to help ThredUp on our journey to usher in a more sustainable future for the industry.”
Prior to joining ThredUp, Levey served as director of government relations and public affairs at Equinor, where he was responsible for the company’s US climate, sustainability, environmental, and innovation policy development and advocacy. Prior to that, he held roles at the Edison Electric Institute and at Exxon Mobil Corporation. He previously advised US state governors on energy, economic development, and international affairs issues.
“Oftentimes, public policy and sustainability are separate functions within an organization. Blending them together into one role proves that thredUP understands the greater impact resale can have on climate goals with government and societal support,” he says. “Educating policymakers on the circular economy and thredUP’s business model is the first step in creating change, and I’m eager to take on this new and critical position.”
Data from ThredUp’s 2021 Resale Report suggests that government support would drive meaningful adoption of circular fashion among consumers and brands. 47% of US consumers say they would be more inclined to purchase secondhand clothing if the sales tax was eliminated or they received a tax credit for their purchases, while 58% of US retail executives say they would be more likely to test the buying and selling of secondhand apparel if there were financial incentives for doing so.
ThredUp says a surge of participation at these levels could enable a sector, like resale, to reach its environmental impact potential.
The company recently partnered with Crocs on a new US programme – Clean Out – to give preloved items a second life.