Ahead of Black Friday Vestiaire Collective’s founders have removed 30 fast fashion brands from its pre-loved platform, including Swedish fashion retailer H&M, fashion conglomerate Gap Inc, Spanish fashion brand Mango, Japanese fashion brand Uniqlo, and Inditex‘s Zara.
Vestiaire Collective’s co-founders shared a letter on their website that explains the three-year plan to progressively remove fast fashion brands from the platform started on Black Friday in 2022 as this is the date “where consumption will skyrocket, especially of fast fashion.”
The founders continued: “Every year, the fashion industry produces 100 billion garments. As we consumer more and wear less, 92 million tons of textile waste is discarded on a yearly basis – most of it coming from fast fashion brands. This is enough to fill the Empire State Building every day, and has a major environmental and social impact.”
They also urged shoppers ahead of Black Friday to join Vestiaire’s ‘Think first, buy second’ movement and pledge to completely ban fast fashion in their own wardrobes or commit to stop buying fast fashion for the rest of the year.
Vestiaire Collective defines fast fashion as very low prices, frequent updates to collections, having a broad range of products, intensive and frequent promotional periods and fast production cycles.
Fight against fast fashion and textile waste
The pre-loved platform suggests the first step to tackling the industry’s growing waste problem is to say no to fast fashion altogether and step out of what it describes as an “outdated, exploitative” system of buying more low quality items than ever before but using them less.
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Instead, the platform encourages consumers to opt for second-hand or pre-loved garments.
Vestiaire Collective has joined forces with US-based public charity Or Foundation to lobby for legislation around extended producer responsibility at governmental level.
It will also work on practical solutions with Or for the fast fashion items that are already owned, including recycling, upcycling and constructive donation strategies.
Vestiare says its target is to be 100% free of fast fashion by Black Friday 2024 or what it calls Better Friday.
Fashion brands respond to Vestiare’s fast fashion ban
H&M told Just Style exclusively that it respects Vestiaire Collective’s decision, however, it was keen to clarify that it shares the same viewpoint as Vestiaire Collective when it comes to driving collective change towards a circular fashion economy.
The spokesperson said: “At H&M we want to make more sustainable fashion accessible for the many. We believe we need to explore new ways of consuming and producing fashion and this is why we are testing and investing in a range of rental and reuse services. We want to provide different options to our customers and encourage them to explore our collections in different ways, while keeping products a part of the circular system. We also work with other re-sell platforms where we see that customers really appreciate the opportunity to buy pre-loved garments from previous collections.”
Mango, Inditex, Gap and Uniqlo had not responded to Just Style’s request for comment at the time of going to press.